NASCAR: Bring Back the Southern 500

Daniel HarmonContributor IMarch 13, 2010

DARLINGTON, SC- AUGUST 31:  Terry LaBonte, driver of the #5 Kellog's Chevrolet Monte Carlo, celebrates after winning the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on August 31, 2003 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo By Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

This year it will be seven years since "Texas" Terry Labonte won the final Labor Day weekend Southern 500 at Darlington. NASCAR's schedule realignment gave the Labor Day weekend race to California, and moved Darlington's date to the end of the year.

The Southern 500 was a tradition, and to this day there are still race fans wishing NASCAR would give Darlington its Labor Day race back.

In a time when NASCAR says it is listening to its fans, isn't it time that Darlington gets its Labor Day race back?

The Southern 500 had great attendance, and had great moments.

How did the California race do? Lackluster attendance at the Auto Club Speedway caused yet another schedule alignment! California did not have the fan support to have the race be successful.

Was anybody else offended that NASCAR ripped away Darlington's race date, and did not even give it back when they took the date away from California? Atlanta is another race track that is having attendance problems.

I realize that NASCAR wants to fix these problems in attendance and provide great racing, but many of their Southern fans that were still upset over Darlington's loss were more infuriated by NASCAR's lack of consideration for Darlington.

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How does NASCAR listen to its fans and boost Labor Day weekend attendance? Its easy! Give Darlington its race date back. Darlington has only one race date now, so why not make it a tradition.

Nobody would dream about moving the Daytona 500 on the schedule, or leaving the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so why was it so easy to take away Darlington's date.

NASCAR, you say you are listening to your fans? Keep listening! Fans want the Labor Day race at Darlington. So why not give it back? If you bring back a tradition, you bring back your grass-roots fans.

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