NASCAR veteran Kerry Tharp named new president of Darlington Raceway

Kerry Tharp has been named president at Darlington Raceway.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kerry Tharp has been named the new president at Darlington Raceway, the track announced earlier today.

Tharp, a long-time member of the NASCAR communications staff and a former associate athletic director at the University of South Carolina, most recently has served as Senior Director of Racing Communications for NASCAR.

Tharp replaces current Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile, who accepted the position of President of Daytona International Speedway back in April. Tharp will assume the Darlington reins effective July 18.

"I am deeply humbled and honored to have this opportunity," Tharp said in a statement released by the track. "I love the state of South Carolina and its people. I know how special Darlington Raceway is to this state and to the sport of NASCAR. The track’s rich tradition, history, and popularity resonate with the competitors, partners, media and most importantly the fans."

International Speedway Corp. Executive Vice President and COO Joie Chitwood said Tharp, who is very popular with media who cover NASCAR on a regular basis and is known for his keen sense of humor, is the ideal choice to replace Wile.

"I look forward to working with our team to help keep Darlington as one of our sport’s crown jewels," Tharp said.