DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) — The Lady in Black is back, and that means fans from all over the country are headed to Darlington Raceway.
The infield and plenty of nearby campsites started filling up early in the week. One camper said that’s because the sooner they arrive at the track, the sooner the party can start.
Many of the RVs at the track have decks on their roofs and some fans even brought their own pools.
Alfred Sanville said he started camping Wednesday. By Friday, he was so well acquainted with the people parked next to him that they are planning to attend next year’s Daytona 500 together.
“Drinking beer, eating food, meeting people,” Sanville said. “In the grandstands, it’s too hot and you only get one day. Camping, you’re here for four days, five days, and you get to meet so many people and have so much fun.”
One of the larger camping setups even had a live DJ booth.
Racecars won’t be the only things burning rubber at the track this weekend. On Saturday, cyclists will take to the track.
The “Too Tough to Ride” event is a fundraiser for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Organizers said more than 60 people had signed up as of Friday to ride a couple of laps at Darlington Raceway and then take a loop around Darlington and Hartsville.
Ryan Wright, the area director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, said money raised at the event will be used to support FCA groups throughout the Pee Dee and Coastal Carolina regions. He said the ride is the first of its kind, and he plans to make it an annual event.
“We hope to grow it into the 5-600 number and really make it a tremendous event for Darlington Raceway, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the cycling community around,” Wright said. “Y’all come ride with us.”
Wright said the event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the group’s volunteers and FCA’s Pee Dee director, John Griggs.
If you haven’t signed up to ride your bike at Darlington Raceway, it’s not too late. Registration ends at 6:45 a.m. Saturday.
Large crowds in the grandstands mean lots of traffic around the area. Though things weren’t too rough on Friday, a representative from South Carolina Highway Patrol said conditions are expected to get worse as the weekend goes on.
Master Trooper Brian Lee said troopers will be at many of the intersections around the track to direct traffic. He said it’s important to follow officers’ instructions to keep things running smoothly.
Lee also said to avoid drinking and driving and to make sure you have a designated driver if you plan to indulge in the grandstands.
“Make sure you don’t get behind the wheel of that car,” Lee said. “There are shuttle buses out here, call a friend. “We’re gearing up, we’re going to have our people in place and we’re hoping that everyone will come in and have a safe weekend.”
Count on News13 for the latest from Darlington Raceway throughout the weekend.