Track officials announced today that the Board of Directors of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) has approved more than $10 million in funding for capital projects at Darlington Raceway. Total estimated spending for the projects represents the largest one-time capital investment in the 58-year history of the storied facility.
Scheduled projects include repaving of the racing surface and aprons, and the addition of concrete pit stalls.
A new infield access tunnel, large enough to accommodate race car haulers as well as motorcoaches, will be constructed at the west end of the track.
Projects also include suite renovations and the creation of additional fan parking areas.
"We are extremely pleased at our company's outstanding show of support for Darlington Raceway," said track president Chris Browning. "The repaving and tunnel projects, in particular, are the continuation of a major renovation and upgrade plan that began last year with the construction of the new Brasington Tower grandstand in Turn 1. Many great things lie ahead for Darlington Raceway, and we are tremendously excited about what the future holds in store."
Construction on Darlington Raceway began in 1949 and the track hosted the first-ever NASCAR-sanctioned race on a paved speedway on Labor Day 1950. Darlington was last repaved in the fall of 1995. The first race run on the new pavement was in the spring of 1996. Ward Burton won the pole with a speed of 173.797 mph -- a record run that stands to this day. The track solicited input on the upcoming repaving project from several current drivers, along with team owners and engineers and representatives from NASCAR and the Goodyear Tire Company.
Work will begin in the summer of 2007, following the Dodge Avenger 500 weekend May 10-12.
The 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 weekend at Darlington Raceway will include practice for the USAC Silver Crown Series and the NASCAR Busch Series on Thursday, May 10, followed by USAC qualifying and the "Silver Crown Showdown at Darlington" under the lights. This event will feature open-wheel racing at Darlington for the first time in 51 years. Admission is $10; kids 12 and under are admitted free.
On Friday, May 11, the day will include NASCAR NEXTEL Cup practice, and NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series qualifying, followed by the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 NASCAR Busch Series race under the lights that evening. Denny Hamlin is the defending champion.
On Saturday, May 12, Darlington will host Cup Series racing for the 58th consecutive season as Greg Biffle attempts to join the short list of drivers to win three events in a row at NASCAR's most historic venue. The Dodge Avenger 500 will be run under the lights in its entirety.
Tickets for all events are on sale now. For more information, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE, or visit www.racetickets.com.