Darlington Raceway names new president

Former NASCAR senior director of racing communications Kerry Tharp has been tapped as the new president of South Carolina's Darlington Raceway.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to have this opportunity,” Tharp said. “I love the state of South Carolina and its people. I know how special Darlington Raceway is to this state and to the sport of NASCAR. The track’s rich tradition, history, and popularity resonate with the competitors, partners, media and most importantly the fans. I look forward to working with our team to help keep Darlington as one of our sport’s crown jewels.”

The appointment will take effect July 18. Tharp succeeds Chip Wile, who is now the president of Florida's Daytona International Speedway.

“These are exciting times for Darlington Raceway and Kerry Tharp is the perfect person to lead one of the most historic tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit,” International Speedway Corp. EVP and CEO Joie Chitwood said. “His appreciation of our sport, knowledge of the industry and passion for South Carolina are unmatched."

Tharp holds a bachelor's degree in public relations from Western Kentucky University and a master's degree in communications from the University of Tennessee. He has been with NASCAR since 2005. Prior to that, he spent two decades as associate athletic director for media relations for the University of South Carolina. His resume also includes time working in intercollegiate sports for the University of Tennessee, University of Oklahoma and University of South Carolina.

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