Fans in Darlington celebrate the return of NASCAR racing

Some fans still came to tailgate the race even though they were not allowed in.
Some fans still came to tailgate the race even though they were not allowed in.(WMBF News)
Updated: May. 17, 2020 at 8:26 PM EDT
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DARLINGTON, S.C. (WMBF) - Even though racing fans couldn’t get back into the stands Sunday, many still came out to tailgate the return of racing.

Doug Rohe and his son and grandson were some of them.

“When I can go back in, it’s gonna be great. I got my tickets for the 500 on Labor Day weekend. I got a camp spot all set up. It’ll be awesome getting back in there," Rohe said.

On Sunday, they were sitting outside their RV across from Turn 2.

“Quite frankly we usually have to rush to get into our seats, we don’t have to rush today,” Rohe said.

But the rush of being back in the stands when the race starts. is something he said he’ll miss. But to Rohe, just knowing racing is back is enough for now.

“Hopefully this virus dies down a little bit, gets better. As people we gotta be responsible and do what’s right for everybody. If we can’t get back in there, we can’t this year right now. But if we can, it’ll be awesome,” he said.

Darlington Mayor Curtis Boyd said, to him, having NASCAR and live sports come back in Darlington after a two-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic is personal.

“This is the granddaddy of it all. This is where NASCAR started, and to us born and raised here in Darlington, this is home,” Boyd saids.

He said while he knows a lot of people wish they were in the stands, just the sound of the cars racing can give fans a feeling of being there.

“Every sport has something different. In NASCAR they’re protected, they’re in their little cars that are jammed tight in there, they can hardly move. But when that thing flips over, you know, it’s a ride for your life, and they’re taking that chance there on the track. And I think the fans can feel that even, and they like being just as close as they can to it," Boyd said.

As of now, there has not been any announcements on if the Southern 500 over Labor Day weekend will allow fans inside to watch the race.

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