Darlington Raceway campers arrive ahead of Southern 500

Pee Dee

DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) — Even though the Southern 500 doesn’t happen until Sunday, campers are already crowding around Darlington Raceway.

One campground manager said they started arriving as early as Monday. Some wanted to beat the crowd at setting up their site, while others just wanted to get the party started sooner.

“Never knock it until you try it once,” Jerry Allen said. “Try it once, you’ll be hooked.”

Tina and Jerry Allen are just two of the hundreds of campers that have already arrived at the Lady in Black. The Allens showed up Thursday so they could party longer.

“It’s basically just us hanging out and getting away from the real world, especially during this pandemic,” Tina Allen said.

RVs already line campsites near the track and the infield.

“Camping inside the track is a different atmosphere than outside the track,” Randy Privette said. “It’s God’s country in here.”

Jimmie Outlaw said he has camped at Darlington Raceway for the last 20 years.

“This is good living. Come out here, park, plug in the water,” Outlaw said. “Just live it up.”

He arrived Monday. His favorite thing about showing up early to camp is socializing.

“Friends come by that you don’t see but once, twice a year,” Outlaw said. “Because they know, if I was living, I’d be here.”

Many campers said the best part of staying near the track is being close to the action.

The first race of the weekend is Saturday.

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