Darlington Raceway stays in house naming Josh Harris new president

Josh Harris will succeed Kerry Tharp as president of Darlington Raceway (Provided)

Darlington Raceway announced Saturday morning that Josh Harris, the track’s vice president for business operations, will be the new track president replacing the retiring Kerry Tharp. Harris has been with NASCAR since 2012 and joined the Darlington staff earlier this year. Tharp, who has led operations at the Pee Dee speedway for eight years, plans to retire at the end of 2023.

Here’s the full release from Darlington Raceway:

Darlington Raceway announced today that seasoned NASCAR executive Josh Harris will become the next president of the Track Too Tough to Tame. Harris is currently Darlington Raceway’s vice president, business operations, with more than a decade of experience within the NASCAR industry.

“There’s nobody more ready and capable to lead Darlington Raceway than Josh Harris,” said Chip Wile, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President, Chief Track Properties Officer and Darlington Raceway’s president from 2013-2016. “Josh has a wealth of experience, a steady hand and deep relationship­s that will continue growing this historic venue’s leadership and legacy within the region and our sport.  Darlington holds a very special place in my heart and I am excited how Josh is going to continue to push it forward.”

Harris, a native of Harrisville, Miss., began his NASCAR career in 2012 as Talladega Superspeedway’s director of ticketing. He ascended to the roles of NASCAR’s Southeast Region vice president of ticketing & guest services, and Southeast Region vice president of client & event experience. Both of those roles allowed Harris to make positive impacts on Daytona International Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega, while also gaining valuable experience that has prepared him to lead Darlington Raceway.

Prior to joining NASCAR, Harris was the manager of business development and ticketing for IMG Tickets in South Florida. He holds a Masters of Sports Administration from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mississippi State University.

“It is an incredible honor to have the opportunity to lead Darlington Raceway, which has a legacy of great leadership from the likes of Jim Hunter to Chip Wile and Kerry Tharp,” Harris said. “This track is a beloved South Carolina and NASCAR institution, and I look forward to working alongside our devoted staff and passionate fans to continue growing its relevance and impact as one of the sport’s crown jewels.”   

Harris relocated to Florence, S.C., earlier this year with his wife, Lauren, and their three children. In January, he succeeds Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp, who is retiring after nearly eight years at the helm.

“Josh Harris is the right person to lead Darlington Raceway. This is one of the most historic racetracks in motorsports and I am certain it will be in great hands,” Tharp said. “Josh has already proven himself as a tremendous leader in NASCAR. He is tireless, passionate, strategic, and ready to lead the Track Too Tough to Tame into its next era of success.”

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