Racing News

Darlington, SC - (November 2, 2004)  It is fairly common knowledge by now that the first official night race at Darlington will be the Darlington 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event on Friday evening, November 12. Some confusion remains, however, on the subject of exactly when NASCAR's premier series will see race action under the lights.

To help answer those questions, the track "Too Tough To Tame" has set a date with the stars of the NEXTEL Cup Series. At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 14, Darlington Raceway will throw the switch and shine the lights on the Mountain Dew Southern 500 for the first time in history.

"The phones have been ringing off the hook with fans asking how much of the race will actually be run under the lights," said Mac Josey, vice president of Darlington Raceway. "We hope that announcing exactly what time we will turn on the lights will clear things up. Many people have waited a long time for this moment, and we don't want them to miss it."

Scheduled start time for the race is 1:30 p.m. Running time for last year's Mountain Dew Southern 500 was four hours, nine minutes.

Night racing makes its official Darlington debut on Friday, November 12 with the Darlington 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. Published start time for the race is 8 p.m. Bobby Hamilton is the defending champion.

Friday will also feature qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch series, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The weekend continues on Saturday, November 13 with the BI-LO 200 NASCAR Busch Series race. Start time for that event, won last year by Brian Vickers, is 1 p.m.

Sunday, November 14 will feature the 55th, and final, running of the Mountain Dew Southern 500. This legendary event was first run in 1950, but will see its checkered flag wave under the lights for the first time in 2004. Terry Labonte is the defending champion.

For tickets or more information on upcoming events at Darlington Raceway, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE (7223), or visit

Contact:  Darlington Raceway 843.395.8892
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