ISC this morning named NASCAR Senior Dir of Competition Communications Kerry Tharp President of Darlington Raceway, completing a search that took a few months. Tharp, who worked in the Univ. of South Carolina’s sports information office for two decades before coming to NASCAR in '05, replaces Chip Wile, who stepped up to the role of President of Daytona Int’l Speedway after Joie Chitwood III was named ISC COO in late April. Tharp has deep relationships throughout the sport, its media and the state of South Carolina.
Wile assumed his duties at Daytona on May 1, but has been back and forth between Darlington and Daytona since then helping the track, which has 12 full-time employees and hosts one Cup race a year, get ready for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend. Tharp’s appointment comes at an important time for the track, which is just more than two months away from the second running of its Tradition Returns throwback theme that is now woven into all parts of the race weekend.