Labor Day weekend is rapidly approaching, and with it comes the annual running of the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. In addition to being the jumping-off point for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, this year’s event will mark the end of an era. Track President Kerry Tharp announced earlier this year that the 2023 racing season would be his last leading the “Track Too Tough to Tame.” Tharp has served in that capacity since 2016, joining the front office at Darlington following an 11-year tenure as NASCAR’s senior director of communications for its competition department.
Tharp and 1999 Southern 500 winner Jeff Burton were guests of South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and First Lady Peggy McMaster on Tuesday as part of a promotion for this year’s race on September 3rd. The press event was held at the governor’s mansion to highlight the race weekend’s importance to South Carolina and NASCAR.