Darlington Raceway announced this morning that track President Kerry Tharp will be retiring at the end of the 2023 season. According to Darlington Raceway, Tharp has been the track President at Darlington since 2016, and he has been in NASCAR since 2005. Before that, he was the Associate Athletics Director of Communications at the University of South Carolina.
You Need to Know:
- Since Tharp has been Darlington Raceway President in 2016, the race track has seen tremendous growth, and also spearheaded the effort to get NASCAR back after the global pandemic. In 2020, Darlington Raceway hosted the first two NASCAR races after the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to also hosting the traditional Southern 500 that Labor Day weekend. Under Tharp’s leadership, Darlington went from one race to two races per year for the first time since 2004.
- Prior to being track President at Darlington, Tharp graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1979 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and the University of Tennessee in 1981 with a Master’s Degree in Communications according to his LinkedIn. He previously spent time as the Senior Director of Communications for NASCAR from 2005 until he became Darlington track President in 2016.
- People on social media had nothing but positive things to say. From reporters to fans alike, people were giving their well-wishes to Tharp on his retirement
Around the Garage
Freddit Kraft will miss Tharp, but had nothing but nice things to say about him.
In the Stands
KSR calls Tharp one of a kind.
Rob is sad to see Tharp go.
Davis Warren had great things to say about Tharp.
From the Pressbox
Ryan McGee called Tharp, “One of the greatest humans”.
Jenna Fryer gives her well-wishes.
Jim Utter is surprised, but thankful for what Tharp has done for the sport.
Jonathan Laster says Tharp will be missed, but he is thankful for what Tharp has done.
The Scene Vault Podcast loved how Tharp helped them with a commemorative issue of Scene.
The reaction says it all about the impact that Tharp had on the sport. He helped bring NASCAR back after the pandemic, and he helped a historic track rekindle some of its former glory. He seemingly made a bigger impact as a human being.