Driving for Disaster Relief

DARLINGTON - The Southern 500 is a month passed now, but Darlington Raceway got plenty of use on Friday. For a donation to the American Red Cross, racing fans could take their own try at the Track Too Tough to Tame.

"Our state is up 26% on our disaster for the year," explained Linda Boone-Smith, the executive director of the Red Cross of the Pee Dee. "We've had an increase in fires this year, and people are finding themselves with nowhere else to go."

But this even has provided an opportunity many have looked forward to.

"We come to most of the races here at Darlington, so coming out onto the track is neat," said donor Luke Perdue, who rode with his family.

Fellow donor Jim Winning agreed, adding "Anytime you get a chance to drive across something that's exciting as a racetrack and has the history of Darlington at the same time? I just couldn't pass it up."

While the driving is not quite as intense as thousands of fans saw back in May, there is still a big league feel to it, while helping out others in need.

"I'm not sure they're quite going the same speed, but they're having a lot of fun doing this," said Boone-Smith.

"This isn't exactly your racecar suspension under our minivan, but just don't hit and leave a stripe on the wall," joked Perdue.

The event raised nearly $5,000 for the local Pee Dee chapter of the American Red Cross.

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