Darlington, SC – The first stop on my South Carolina/North Carolina road trip was the Darlington Raceway Museum. My initial plans fell through because of weather and Darlington wasn’t very far away, so I called an audible and visited the museum since I hadn’t been there in a while. Their collection of cars has changed a bit since I was there last, but they still had their wonderful historic stock cars. Most notably, the car that Darrell Waltrip crashed so badly at Daytona in 1991 is no longer there (it has moved to the NASCAR Hall of Fame museum in Charlotte according to the staff). Some more recent cars, such as a 2012 Toyota Camry and 2014 Chevrolet SS have been added in place of some of those that have gone since my last visit.
The Darlington Raceway Museum also contains the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. It features drivers, owners, mechanics, reporters, and important figures from various types of motor sports. Each honoree has a display that has an audio feature, portrait, and memorabilia or item from the honoree.
It’s nice that the museum has added some more recent race cars to its collection because that will no doubt help attract more visitors, but I’m also glad that they’ve kept their core of historic race cars because those show visitors where the sport came from. If you’re in the Darlington area, it’s definitely worth stopping in to visit if you’re a motor sports fan. It’s not a very big museum, but it tells the story of one of the greatest race tracks in the United States and the story of stock car racing.