by Official Release On Fri, Sep. 01, 2017

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 Darlington Raceway, Darlington, SC USA Friday 1 September 2017. World Copyright: Logan Whitton / Harrelson Photography Inc.

Partnership with Darlington County School District results in 771 students participating in program

DARLINGTON, S.C. (Sept. 1, 2017) – Success was celebrated on Friday, as students who especially excelled in the Darlington Raceway/Darlington County School District Summer Reading Program were awarded medals by seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.

The program partnership between the raceway and the school district resulted in 771 students – kindergarten through eighth grade – participating. The district-wide program also involved the Darlington County Library system, the TEACH Foundation and South Carolina Future Minds. The four local libraries in Darlington, Hartsville, Lamar and Society Hill hosted students in the program.

Prior to the first practice session for Sunday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500, Johnson met with students and awarded 27 medals to the top three readers in kindergarten and grades 1-8, in the Bojangles’ Suite overlooking the famed 1.366-mile race track.

“This summer’s program was a true community effort,” Tharp said. “We can all be proud of what each and every student achieved. And the fact that one of NASCAR’s top drivers, Jimmie Johnson, could join us to recognize the program’s top readers was a fitting wrap-up to a successful summer for these bright young minds we honored today.”

Added Johnson: “We’re very happy and honored to be a part of rewarding these kids for their efforts. Our sport does a fantastic job of giving back to the communities where we race. I’m very proud of Darlington Raceway and the 27 smiling kids today when we passed out some awards.”



Darlington Raceway’s award-winning throwback campaign is the The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR, featuring the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500® on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. The NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. Tickets are on sale now by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at Fans are encouraged to post their Bojangles’ Southern 500 stories and memories at #TraditionContinues, #BojanglesSo500 and #SportClips200.

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