With Darlington Raceway entering its 66th consecutive year hosting NASCAR’s top-tier touring series, the track will commemorate its return to Labor Day weekend in 2015 by honoring its storied past, while celebrating the future.
With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 returning to its celebrated Labor Day weekend date, the Lady in Black will recognize past champions of the 1970’s as part of its 2015 campaign.
A number of exciting announcements are planned over the next several months in regards to the campaign, which will focus on the years 1970-74.
NASCAR Hall of Famers Leonard Wood, Cale Yarborough and Wendell Scott, among others, will be celebrated during the event weekend. All of these drivers played an integral role in building the foundation, which has made Darlington Raceway special to both drivers and fans alike for over six decades.
“With our exciting return to Labor Day weekend in 2015, celebrating our past champions is only fitting,” Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile said. “These racing icons helped shape Darlington Raceway into what it is today – NASCAR’s most storied racing facility.”
The honoring of champions from the early 1970’s is just one part of the track’s overall strategy to celebrate its rich history. Each year, Darlington Raceway will focus on specific eras, plus the historic moments and drivers that made impacts at the track Too Tough to Tame.
Additionally, the track will link the generations by celebrating current and future stars of NASCAR, including Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and Darrell Wallace Jr.
History was made last season as both Harvick and Elliott celebrated wins at the Lady in Black (Harvick won the Bojangles’ Southern 500, Elliott claimed the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200) and went on to win their respective series championships.
The only other time in track history both Darlington race winners went on to win their series championships in the same year was 1997. Then, Jeff Gordon won the Southern 500 and Randy LaJoie won the Busch Series race, with both going on to be crowned series champions.
“We want to recognize our past, but also continue to celebrate our current and future stars,” Wile said. “These drivers are the future of our sport, so it’s important we recognize their achievements at Darlington Raceway. As an avid fan of the sport, our future looks extremely bright with the crop of talent we have in the pipeline.”
The 2015 season will see the return of Darlington, S.C. native Kaitlyn Bailey as the track’s “Lady in Black.” Bailey will enter her second year in the position and will don a new 70’s retro-style firesuit. In her role, Bailey serves as the face of Darlington Raceway. She has made a positive impact in the track’s efforts to focus on the fans and serve as an ambassador in the community. Her friendly and engaging personality has made her a fan favorite.
“It’s a tremendous honor to serve as Darlington Raceway’s ‘Lady in Black’ for a second consecutive year,” Bailey said. “Being a native of Darlington, I appreciate and understand how important the track is to the community. It is going to be an amazing year with the tradition returning to Labor Day weekend in 2015.”
The Tradition Returns to Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 is set for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. The NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 5. Tickets are on sale now by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com.