DARLINGTON, S.C. (WMBF) - The Darlington County sheriff said his office has been working nonstop to make sure Darlington Raceway is secure for race weekend.
Sheriff Tony Chavis said NASCAR made it very clear that no unauthorized personnel or vehicles can get onto the property.
He said while they don’t have to worry about 50,000 fans, his deputies have had to become familiar with every piece of the property, so they can protect those involved with the race.
Just like any other race, they will have the bomb dogs out and will search vehicles coming in and out of the property.
“We have brought in multiple state, municipal and county agencies to assist us throughout the race weekend,” said Chavis. “From the first time there is a piece of property that’s going to be dropped off at the Darlington race track by NASCAR or the news media, we will be providing security.”
Michael Donovan was arrested Wednesday after being accused of calling Darlington Raceway and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction at the track.
Chavis said Donovan’s threat heightened their awareness for the upcoming races.
He said all eyes are on Darlington, and it’s important for them to keep everyone involved safe and healthy during the event.
Chavis said the security was already going to be strict, but following Donovan’s threat, they are going to be even more mindful of securing the track and will arrest anyone who tries to enter the property illegally.
“All this gentleman did was make sure we dotted our ‘I’s’ and crossed all our ‘T’s,’ for every minute we are going to be at the track, all it did was heighten our alertness even more because the potential is always there," said Chavis.
Chavis said NASCAR liked their security plan so much they told him they wanted to share the information as they move forward with future races.
He said it’s a huge responsibility to help lay the framework for NASCAR.
“The fact that we were hopefully able to put things in place that NASCAR may be able to use at future tracks around the country, it’s a pretty big responsibility, a pretty big responsibility that we’ve undertaken,” said Chavis.