Less Traveled

Page Ivey



Labor Day traditions

Posted 9/3/2012 9:40:00 AM

When I was in elementary school (back in the day), we never started classes until after Labor Day. The holiday created to honor the American worker was the last day to run barefooted until Memorial Day the following year.

My family always traveled on Labor Day, but that was mainly because we lived very close to Darlington and we were not NASCAR fans.

Well, I must confess that I still have never been to a race, but I have been to the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum & Pit Shop (843-395-8821), 1301 Harry Byrd Highway, Darlington. Open 10–5 Monday-Friday; 10–4 Saturday; 11-4 Sunday.

Since there no longer is a race at Darlington over the end-of-summer holiday weekend, it would be a great stop during any family excursion.

The museum was renovated and expanded in 2003 and is home to everything anyone ever wanted to see related to racing at Darlington.

The track known alternately as the Lady in Black and the Track Too Tough To Tame was built in 1950 and at one time was home to two NASCAR races each year. Drivers recall that rite of passage known as getting their first “Darlington stripe”— when a car brushes against a wall during the race and picks up some of the paint off the wall.

Displays range from the first Southern 500 winner and Richard Petty’s 1967 Plymouth that won 10 races one year to the modern restrictor plate and “Hemi” engine.

Admission is $5 for ages 12 and older, free for younger children.