Racing News



Mountain Dew Southern 500 tickets on sale May 3

NASCAR goes “Dancing in the Dark” with Darlington


Darlington, SC – (April 28, 2004) Tickets for the first-ever race events “under the lights” at Darlington Raceway, the next-to-last stop in the race for all three premier NASCAR series championships, will go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 3.

The 2004 Mountain Dew Southern 500 weekend will include qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series on Friday, November 12. Later that evening, good old-fashioned fender-banging Friday night racing makes its first visit to Darlington in the Darlington 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, the inaugural event under the lights. Published start time for the race is 8 p.m. Bobby Hamilton is the defending champion.

Saturday, November 13 will feature the South Carolina 200 NASCAR Busch Series race. This event was won in 2003 by Brian Vickers, who has moved to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series full-time for the 2004 season

            The 55th running of the legendary Mountain Dew Southern 500 on Sunday, November 14 should prove to be yet another landmark day in the history of NASCAR’s original superspeedway, thanks to a variety of compelling storylines.

Racing’s record books provide definitive evidence of the difficulty of winning at Darlington. One hundred two races at the historic track have produced only 41 different winners. David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon have combined for 25 of those 102 wins.

As the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup Series championship races to its conclusion, that road must run through Darlington, where many of the sport’s top names – Stewart, Newman, and Earnhardt, Jr., for example – have yet to earn their first win at the track “Too Tough To Tame.”

Over the course of the weekend, fans could literally see all three series championships won – or lost – at the facility that for more than half a century has offered the ultimate test of driving skill.

Additionally, Jeff Gordon will be racing for the title of all-time winner in the Mountain Dew Southern 500. Gordon is currently tied with Cale Yarborough for most MDS 500 wins; both have visited Victory Lane five times in that event. Gordon has posted six career wins overall at Darlington and is third on the track's all-time win list, behind David Pearson and Dale Earnhardt. 

Finally, a slightly later start time and an early November sunset will give fans the long-awaited thrill of seeing the checkered flag wave, and the NEXTEL Cup Series stars shine, under the lights at Darlington Raceway for the first time in history. Terry Labonte is the defending Mountain Dew Southern 500 champion.

Tickets for this historic weekend go on sale on Monday morning, May 3. For tickets or more information on upcoming events at Darlington Raceway, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 1.866.459.RACE (7223), or log onto



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