The deep south has a strong association with homegrown American motorsport, with NASCAR and IndyCar having their origins and traditional stomping grounds localized to this part of the contiguous US, and South Carolina is no exception to this.
In fact, the Palmetto State has produced more than its fair share of elite drivers, with NASCAR cup series legends David Pearson, Cotton Owens and Joe Eubanks calling the state home. In fact, even Charleston’s own Bud ‘Little Bud’ Moore is considered among the greats by those in the know.
NASCAR Under Renewed Pressure
Total viewership numbers of NASCAR events have been steadily declining over the course of the 21st century, with many pointing to the fact that the classic racing series has new competition in the form of growing interest in IndyCar, and the recent surge in popularity around Formula One which, since coming under ownership of new, American, patrons in the form of Liberty Media, has been eagerly campaigning to capture stateside hearts and minds.
To this end, the Formula One World Championship saw the addition of a second US track to join Austin’s Circuit of the Americas on the calendar, in Miami no less – right in the middle of the NASCAR heartland. And a further race, set to take place on the Las Vegas strip from 2023, is only going to put greater pressure on stock car racing.
Strong Fan Base Remains
But that’s not to say NASCAR doesn’t retain a loyal, committed fanbase both in the Carolinas and from increasingly international sources, with Sports Betting Online known to provide listings from its affiliate providers that cover NASCAR events across the 50+ countries it provides its services to.
Leading providers like this are adept at assessing which way the wind is blowing, and their ongoing support for stock-racing, in offering up competitive sign-up bonuses and free bet offers for use in NASCAR events, is a clear signal that the sport is in good shape.
And this should come as no surprise, especially given the fact that stock car racing has something to offer that’s wholly unique in the wider world of motorsport, with its high speed ovals and boisterous vehicular battles.
South Carolina’s Enduring Motorsport Relevance
Regardless of the shifting fortunes of the top flight of motorsport, South Carolina will enjoy an enduring place at the table thanks to its rich assortment of racetracks offering up virtually every type of autosport you can imagine. Let’s take a look at the best of these below.
The Cherokee Speedway, situated just outside of Gaffney, is a glorious ½ mile dirt oval that plays host to a number of popular series including the World Crown 4 Cylinder Nationals, the infamous Fall Brawl Ultimate Late Model Series, the V8 Tribal Nationals and the Street Stock Showdown.
This is in addition to Saturday Night Racing, their weekly fixture that delivers an eclectic array of entertaining dirt showdowns. Just don’t forget to wear an old jacket if you feel like heading down and watching the earth fly.
Lancaster Super Speedway
The Lancaster Super Speedway is the largest dirt oval in the state, coming in at 1 mile in length and is considered by many to be the best dirt track in the whole south. That’s not without good reason, as the Lancaster has more than earned its stripes in serving as a venue for elite dirt competition since its foundation in 1954.
Its Saturday night weekly fixture is home to 8 different divisions of racing ranging from pure stock to late model events.
No list of South Carolina’s greatest tracks would be complete without a mention of the ‘Lady in Black’ herself, the Darlington Raceway. Constructed in 1950, Darlington was actually the very first paved track in the history of NASCAR. As such it has always been associated with the high speed thrills the sport is known to deliver.
Darlington is also a far cry from your more traditional oval, instead comprising a roughly egg shaped circuit running some 1.3 miles, the result of the course having to be built around a minnow pond that the owner refused to relocate.
This makes it a real headache for teams seeking to optimize the driving setup for, and, combined with its relatively narrow lane, ensures it’s among the most challenging tracks on the calendar. This has earned it a reputation for uncompromising racing, with its nickname ‘The Track Too Tough to Tame’, saying it all.
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