Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Darlington's Favorite Son


For a kid growing up in Darlington — Maryland, that is — racing wasn’t even on the radar.

“We were starved for racing in that area,” said Rick Viers, a Darlington, Md., native and crew chief of the No. 84. “All they knew was horse racing. Growing up in junior high and high school, all you got was maybe 30 minutes of ‘Wide World Of Sports.’ You couldn’t even find a paragraph about racing in the newspaper.”

The landscape of Viers’ Darlington and that of Darlington, S.C., are similar — a stop light or two, an elementary school here and a convenience store there. But Darlington, Md., doesn’t have a Lady in Black.

Saturday night’s Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway — located three states below Viers’ hometown in the sand hills of South Carolina — is just another race for a guy who wore the first of many hats as a team owner and driver in the 1984 NASCAR Mid-Atlantic Region. After three years perfecting his on-track performance, Viers went on to win four races and the crown of Old Dominion Speedway track champion.

He jumped ship to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1988, following his heart to a tin-top racing career that has spanned two decades. His move to North Carolina fueled stints with seven top Cup and Nationwide teams and led to work alongside two of the sport’s greatest racers — Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon.

“Nobody knew anything about stock car racing,” Viers said. “It used to be that you were an outsider. Now everybody is wearing T-shirts and hats that show support for stock car racing. When you used to talk racing back home people thought, ‘What is that?’ But the mindset has changed a lot since then.”

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck this weekend boyz! It's nice seeing both RB cars in the race, keep up the good work teams!

WE BELIEVE, we know not you can do it!!!

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Amzy said...

9th fastest in practice for A.J.!! Go get em boys!!

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Gangsta said...

Aj will be last out! Good practice too.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add in that there's only 45 cars entered, AJ's chances of making the race have greatly increased - plus I think he was the fastest in the 2nd practice session tonight. Good luck boys!

KCMO

5:02 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

AJ has another shot at the pole.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

WooHoo! Fastest in 2nd practice for AJ and the 84 team. Congratulations guys! Hopefully y'all are learning alot during these practice sessions. We're all hoping for another great run out of the 84 car. Good luck in Quals tomorrow.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Amzy said...

Anybody know what time qualifying is today?

4:50 AM  
Anonymous savannah david said...

amzy - Qualifying is set for 5:00pm on SPEED. I just checked the weather and T-storms are predicted for Friday & Saturday. Like last year, I have tickets to the Cup race. We were rained out Saturday night last year and I didn't get back for the live event Sunday. Man-o-man, I sure hope this ain't a repeat of last year. Good Luck to BV & AJ. Go get 'em boys!

4:59 AM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

2 more practices today and qualifying at 5pm.

5:00 AM  

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