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Darlington, SC - (August 2, 2004) Five plus eight may equal "unlucky" 13, but those numbers will add up to very good news for fans attending the Mountain Dew Southern 500 on Sunday, November 14 at Darlington Raceway.

For the final running of NASCAR's most historic event, the track's fan hospitality area, the Darlington Stripe Zone, will feature question-and-answer sessions with two of racing's biggest names - Terry Labonte, driver of the No. 5 Kellogg's/got milk? Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet.

Labonte, a two-time champion who earned his first career NEXTEL Cup Series win at Darlington in 1980, returned last year to win the final Labor Day running of the Mountain Dew Southern 500, delighting fans with a classic "victory lap" before pulling into the winner's circle. 

Earnhardt, Jr., while still looking for his first victory at the track "Too Tough To Tame," currently sits firmly in the NEXTEL Cup Series' top 10 drivers and should be in championship contention when the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup roars through Darlington. 

Labonte's appearance will take place at approximately 9:30 a.m., followed by Earnhardt, Jr. at approximately 10:15.
Located in the Wachovia Hospitality Village outside the track's Turn 3, the Darlington Stripe Zone gives fans an opportunity to eat, relax and interact with NASCAR personalities on race morning.
Darlington Stripe Zone admission includes: catered lunch in a specially designated chalet tent; a Darlington Raceway commemorative event souvenir; live entertainment; beverages; a 2004 Mountain Dew Southern 500 souvenir program; and question-and-answer sessions featuring Terry Labonte and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Darlington Stripe Zone admission also includes pre-race pit passes for the Mountain Dew Southern 500, valid until 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 14 only. Scheduled start time for the race is 1:30 p.m.
Night racing makes its Darlington debut in November, beginning with the Darlington 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday evening, November 12. 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 race was first run in 1950, but will see its checkered flag wave under the lights for the first time ever in 2004.
For tickets or more information on upcoming events at Darlington Raceway, including next year's first full slate of night racing, the 2005 Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 weekend May 5-7, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 1.866.459.RACE, or log onto www.darlingtonraceway.com.

Contact:  Darlington Raceway public relations 843.395.8892
High res photos available on request
 

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