Story courtesy of Darlington Raceway
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, spent a day in the local Darlington, S.C. community on Tuesday, helping to promote the upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
He was more than happy to do so since he's the defending champion of the famed race.
Truex Jr. participated in a variety of activities for the track, including fishing on the Ramsey Pond, which sits just to the South of the legendary egg-shaped oval of Darlington Raceway.
"Darlington is such a great race track," Truex Jr. said. "Winning here last year was so special to me and our entire race team. I love this place and hope to replicate that success this upcoming Labor Day weekend. This is a special place in NASCAR history for sure."
He was joined by Harold Brasington III, grandson of track founder Harold Brasington, and Jim Ramsey, grandson of Sherman Ramsey, who owned the property that the track was built and the adjoining pond.
The story of how the track got its egg shape is well told. During construction in 1948-49, Brasington was hard at work building his track when Sherman Ramsey asked that his minnow pond not be disturbed, which sat just to the South of the construction site.
Sherman Ramsey was a big believer of conservation and felt that the pond should not be sacrificed with the building of the track. Brasington agreed and built turns 1 and 2 (now turns 3 and 4) narrower than the others, therefore, giving the track its distinct egg shape.
Harold Brasington III and Jim Ramsey retold their grandfathers' story during Truex's visit. The story highlights another point in the history of the sport, which is what the track's throwback weekend is intended to do.
Also present was Guy Eaker, legendary Hall of Fame bass fisherman who is also sponsored by Bojangles'. Eaker and Truex Jr. fished the Ramsey Pond with fans and members of the South Florence High School fishing team of Tommy Floyd Jr. and James Gibbons, who won the Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship in June.
To conclude the day, Truex Jr. visited the McLeod Hospital Center for Cancer Treatment and Research in Florence, S.C. He spent time with cancer patients, handing out SherryStrong care boxes courtesy of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.
Darlington Raceway also made a $2,500 donation to the Cancer Center on behalf of Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex for their support of cancer research and awareness.