Darlington honors Earnhardt family

Nigel Kinrade/NKPPhoto

by Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

On Friday, Darlington Raceway dedicated the turn three suites to the Earnhardt family in honor of the Apreci88tion tour Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is embarking on in his final season as a full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver.

With it being the third year of the throwback platform and Earnhardt’s final season, the staff at Darlington realized that the synergy was there to honor the Earnhardt family.

Kelly Earnhardt Miller, Earnhardt’s sister and JR Motorsports co-owner, was at the dedication of the towers. Miller made the drive to Darlington to specifically be at the dedication.

“I think it’s really special that we have a name here. I think it is something that will carry on in history and for the future of the sport and for fans to be able to see the legacy of the Earnhardt’s to look back and see what effect we had on the sport and to learn about it,” said Miller about the family name being recognized at Darlington.

Later in the day, Kerry Tharp, president of Darlington Raceway, announced that the speedway would donate 88 tickets annually to students within the Pee-Dee region of South Carolina in honor of Earnhardt and his wife, Amy.

“I appreciate that.  You have been a great friend of mine.  You have been great for this sport as an individual in many, many ways.  I appreciate you as a person.  This track has definitely meant a lot to my family.  Dad had a lot of success here.  I appreciate you guys honoring him the way that you do,” said Earnhardt about the gifts. “It certainly makes everybody in our family feel good when you guys do that.  So, I’m speaking on behalf of his brothers and sisters and his mama and his kids that we can’t thank you enough for everything you do to honor my father.  So, that means a lot to me. I appreciate you doing what you are doing with the tickets. That is going to be cool to hopefully hook some new fans over the years.”

Earnhardt has always been a huge proponent of what the team at Darlington Raceway has done with the throwback program and was appreciative of what the track has done this weekend to honor him and his family.

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