Big changes are in store at Darlington Raceway, which is moving its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend to April 11-12, 2014, according to a news release.
"We're making this change with the fan experience in mind," track President Chip Wile said. "We've always enjoyed the tradition of racing on Mother's Day weekend, but sometimes a change like this is necessary. We have the opportunity to get a fresh start and embrace a new date on the NASCAR calendar. This will give us a chance to implement many fun and exciting initiatives we'll be rolling out to celebrate our 65th year of racing at the track Too Tough To Tame."
Organizers said South Carolina traditionally has better weather in April and moving the date up a month could alleviate challenges with hotter weather.
"With the hotter temperatures and humidity in South Carolina in May, weather has always played a factor for our events," Wile said. "Traditionally, April is a great weather month in our state and will potentially bring slightly cooler temperatures for our fans to enjoy."
The move will also benefit college students in the Pee Dee and along the Grand Strand. At least ten different higher education institutions are located within a 100-mile radius from the track, including the University of South Carolina, Coastal Carolina University, Francis Marion University and Coker College among others.
"College students always enjoy the atmosphere we provide at our racing events, but it could be sometimes tough for them to attend in May with finals and graduations taking place at that time," Wile said. "With an April date, this gives us a better opportunity to focus our efforts on the experience we can deliver them, which includes affordable pricing and a quality tailgating experience."
The schedule for the Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend will remain the same as it has in the past.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 race will run Friday night, April 11 and the Bojangles' Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will run Saturday night, April 12, both under the lights.
Tickets will go on sale November 29, 2013. Kids 12 and under are half off for the Bojangles' Southern 500 and free for the NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 in general admission.