DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Darlington Raceway partnered with the Darlington County School District and the Darlington County Library system to award students for reading throughout the summer.
The summer reading program had 771 students kindergarten through eighth grade. The district invited three of the top readers from Lamar, Pate, Carolina, St. John's and North Hartsville elementary schools. The Southside Early Childhood Center, Hartsville and Darlington middle schools also participated.
It was the first time throughout the five-year program that students could visit the raceway and meet a NASCAR driver.
Friday afternoon Jimmy Johnson, a three-time Darlington Raceway winner and seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner came to talk with the students about dedication and hard work. Johnson passed out medals to each student in the Bojangles' Suite overlooking the famed track.
Johnson said he is honored to be a part of the Darlington community.
"Our sport does a fantastic job in giving back to the communities that we race in and the surrounding tracks we compete at, so I am very proud of Darlington Speedway and what they've done here and the 27 smiling kids today to pass out awards," he said.