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Someone Tried To Bomb Darlington Raceway Before Sunday’s NASCAR Race

The world has gone nuts, even in the South. NASCAR is planning its return to the racing season Sunday at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. Today Darlington police arrested a man who threatened to bomb the historic racing venue. He was leaving threatening messages where he said he had an explosive device and what it would do to the raceway. It is unclear at this time why the arrested person wanted to bomb the track.

The man claimed to have 125 tons of bomb-making materials

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 01: Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet, leads the field during a restart for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 01, 2019, in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

We won’t give the man’s name because we don’t want to be a party to making him famous. Suffice it to say the 46-year-old man claimed to have 125 tons of bomb-making materials as reported by the local NBC affiliate WYFF. He called Darlington Raceway on April 27 and left a message describing an explosive device and the results it may create to further his cause. Besides the threat to the raceway, he had also sent a threatening letter to another location. He was arrested in Darlington County.

NASCAR has not held a race since March 8 due to lockdown measures over coronavirus concerns. The Darlington race will be without fans in the stands as well as a reduced race track staff. No qualifying sessions will be run to minimize the potential for passing the COVID-19 virus.

The facility, known as “The Lady In Black,” and “The Track Too Tough To Tame,” will be thoroughly checked out before teams start rolling into the track. 

Charges include attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction for an act of terrorism

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 02: Erik Jones, driver of the #20 Sport Clips Throwback Toyota, celebrates after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 02, 2019, in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The suspect was arrested today for allegedly threatening the raceway. He was charged with a variety of crimes including possession, threats, and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction for an act of terrorism, not resulting in death. He is currently being held at W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center until he is scheduled for a bond hearing. 

It is not clear if he actually had access to the bomb-making material or not. It is also unclear if his threats had anything to do with the coronavirus crisis or lockdown measures to lessen exposure to the virus. NASCAR has not made any statements about the arrest. 

Darlington has been running NASCAR races since 1950

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 01: Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet, and William Byron, driver of the #24 HendrickAutoguard/CityChevrolet Throwback Chevrolet, lead the field during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 01, 2019, in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Darlington has been running NASCAR races since 1950 and has a storied history with Stock Car racing. It’s known for its high speeds due to the length of the straightaways. It is said that many famous drivers got hooked on speedway racing from witnessing those high speeds at Darlington. 

Many drivers say when you race at Darlington you’re competing against the track, not the other racers. That’s because it can bite you from out of nowhere. You can run three or four seemingly effortless laps and then suddenly hit the wall. 

The Southern 500 is run there every Labor Day weekend

Traditionally, the Southern 500 is run there every Labor Day weekend and is scheduled this year for September 6th. David Pearson has the distinction of having the most wins at Darlington at 10.

Let’s hope the race Sunday goes well and we can see a salvage of the 2020 NASCAR season.