This coming Tuesday, Laurens County Speedway will come alive with its biggest race of the year – and the most meaningful.
The Speedway will play host to the Shrine Race, an event that raises money for the Greenville Shriner’s Hospital for Children. A year ago the event raised $25,000 for the hospital, and this year that number is expected to go far higher – maybe in excess of $40,000.
“I would like to be in the 40s,” said Shrine Race Co-Chair Carroll Barker, who added that such a goal is “reachable” – a belief shared by Brandi Hurley, wife of Co-LCS promoter Danny Hurley.
“I’m very optimistic, yes,” Hurley said. “All of this is for the kids. Kids are very dear to our hearts.”
“We hope we will raise a lot more than we’ve raised in the last several years,” Barker said.
Barker, a former Clinton Police Chief, and fellow chairman George Thompson have helped put together the event this year with the help of the race committee. Thompson was a former president of the Laurens County Shrine Club, as was Barker, and is the former chair of the hospital board in Greenville. They have been working to aid the Hurleys – Danny Sr., Danny Jr. and Brandi – in preparation for the race. The help has been a big plus for advertisements, all of which have been local businesses contributing anywhere from $50 to $500. Some other advertisers have contributed as much as $5,000, with all the funds from all ad sales and nonadvertising revenue going directly to the Shriner’s Hospital.
“This would not even be possible without Carroll Barker and his team,” said Hurley. “He has been the lead on there. Whoever comes next year to take over has some very big shoes to fill.”
Wilson Tractor and Bush Hog in Newberry has been one of the bigger contributors, giving away a $6,500 tractor that will be raffled off the night of the race. Tickets will be available at LCS tonight (Saturday) during the regular weekly racing, and will also be available the night of the Shrine Race. You do not have to be at the speedway to be eligible to win on Shrine Race night. Tickets for the raffle are $2 each or $5 for three tickets.
Another item for sale will be the annual race shirt, which will run $10. The shirts will come in four different colors to let fans purchase the exact look they want. There will be 500 shirts available for purchase; they will include 153 sponsor ads. Compared to last year’s sponsorship, there are more than 100 new ads this year for the shirt.
The Shrine Race is near the center of a busy week at the speedway, with three races in eight days – two regular Saturday night cards and the Shrine Race on Tuesday. Hurley said the track is about 90- percent ready for the race, having got all their workers – regular and extras – lined up. Hurley said the speedway will treat the race like a regular night, even with the appearance of the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Division. It will be the feature division, while the Limited Division and Enduro Division will not have regular races. Limited drivers, however, will be able to race their cars against the Carolina Clash drivers.
“People know their names,” Hurley said. “That’s the main attraction for the night. We hope we have a good turnout of cars for the fans to see.”
The winner of the Carolina Clash SLM race will win $4,000, some of which is typically donated back to the Shriner’s by the winner.
Race night entry into the pits will cost adult fans $35 and kids $15, while entry into the grandstand will cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids. The pits will open at 4 p.m., while the grandstand will open at 6 p.m. The driver’s meeting will be held at around 7 p.m., with the Shriner’s Introductions at 7:30 p.m., and racing to start at 8 p.m.