History Book Closing On Myrtle Beach Speedway Saturday

SPEED SPORT TV Broadcasting Myrtle Beach Finale

Myrtle Beach Speedway will close its doors for the finale time following Saturday's race at the historic track. (Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com Photo)
Myrtle Beach Speedway will close its doors for the finale time following Saturday's race at the historic track. (Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com Photo)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The history book will close on Myrtle Beach Speedway Saturday night and SPEED SPORT TV will be there to cover it all.

As part of a partnership announced with NASCAR on Wednesday, the SPEED SPORT Network will distribute select NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series events this year. Saturday’s finale at Myrtle Beach Speedway is the first such event and will be available on the SPEED SPORT Network and on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold as part of the partnership.

Myrtle Beach Speedway is closing after Saturday’s race, with plans already in place to bulldoze the track to make way for the development of offices and townhomes on the property.

The Sun Fun 101 at Myrtle Beach Speedway will be broadcast live on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 6:45 p.m. ET. Pit Row TV, a SPEED SPORT Network affiliate, will oversee the production of the broadcast. Veteran announcer Lenny Batycki will lead the coverage and Derek Pernesiglio will serve as the pit road reporter, with additional talent to be announced later.

Myrtle Beach Speedway opened as a half-mile dirt oval in 1954 and over the years took on many different configurations — both dirt and asphalt. The track, currently a half-mile paved oval, has played host to some of stock car racing’s top stars over the years.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Myrtle Beach Speedway, which was known for a time as Rambi Raceway, hosted the NASCAR Cup Series. The first Cup Series race at the track was won by Bob Welborn in 1958, with Ned Jarrett, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly, Jack Smith, David Pearson and Dick Hutcherson all claiming Cup Series victories when the track was still a dirt surface.

Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Wendell Scott, Buddy Baker, Bobby Isaac, Junior Johnson, Fireball Roberts, Rex White, Lee Petty, Cotton Owens, Speedy Thompson and Bud Moore are among the NASCAR legends who raced at the track during its early years.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series, then known as the NASCAR Busch Series, competed at Myrtle Beach Speedway from 1988 until 2000.

A number of NASCAR’s rising stars raced at Myrtle Beach during that time period, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., who started his career at Myrtle Beach Speedway in 1993. He made his first start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Myrtle Beach in 1996, finishing 14th. His father, Dale Earnhardt, also competed in a NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Myrtle Beach in 1988.

Others to race in Xfinity Series competition at Myrtle Beach included Davey Allison, Jeff Burton, Harry Gant, Kevin Harvick, Dale Jarrett, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Tony Stewart.

While NASCAR’s national divisions haven’t returned to Myrtle Beach Speedway since 2000, the track has continued to host weekly racing. Local and regional competitors continued to venture to Myrtle Beach for major events, including the Myrtle Beach 400 every November.

The story of Myrtle Beach Speedway is set to end with Saturday’s Sun Fun 101. Late models, chargers, super trucks, the Carolina Mini Stock Challenge and Coastal Carolina Mini Cups will all be on the card, with high car counts expected for the track’s final race.

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