‘Look forward to welcoming them back’ Darlington businesses enjoy successful race weekend

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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DARLINGTON, S.C. (WMBF) - Darlington is back to being a small quiet town after more than 60,000 people headed home after the Southern 500.

Pee Dee businesses couldn’t be happier to see the return of Darlington Raceway’s return to normalcy.

“It’s really important, it helps give all the businesses here in Darlington a boost. It’s kind of like a year bonus for your locals so it’s really great,” Southern Charm Restaurant owner Paige Guffey said.

For years, Guffey worked as a waitress at BJ’s restaurant right down the road from Darlington Raceway. BJ’s is now the Southern Charm restaurant, and so Guffey got to welcome race fans back as a business owner.

“I just thank everyone for coming out and supporting us, especially because we’re a new business. I look forward to welcoming them back in May,” Guffey said.

Business was better than expected for one of Darlington’s most popular restaurants.

Raceway Grill owner Tony Baird said race fans kept them busy all weekend long. In fact, the restaurant was so busy it ran out of food and shut down early.

“From a business standpoint it was invaluable from what we lost with COVID and the last couple of races we had it was a tremendous help for not only my business but all of them in the community,” Baird said.

Pee Dee businesses could see the financial impact double in 2022.

NASCAR is finalizing its 2022 schedule, and businesses are hopeful there will be two races again.

“We appreciate their support, and we’ll continue to strive to get better, and hopefully we’ll see them again in May,” Baird said.

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