A 46-year old man was arrested after threatening to bomb the Darlington Raceway just days before A NASCAR event, according to the Darlington Sheriff's Office. Michael Avin, a South Carolina native was investigated for sending threatening messages to the track. He has been charged with "possession, threatened or attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction for act of terrorism, not resulting in death." The arrested warrant stated that Avin left messages at the raceway on April 27 "describing a possible explosive device."
Darlington is scheduled to host a NASCAR race on Saturday, May 17 and it will be the first NASCAR event since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country. Avin is currently being held at the W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center in South Carolina. Darlington Raceway or NASCAR has yet to comment on the situation. It was recently announced Sunday's race will be named "The Real Heroes 400" which will honor healthcare workers during the pandemic.
"NASCAR and its teams are eager and excited to return to racing, and have great respect for the responsibility that comes with a return to competition," Steve O'Donnell said, the NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "NASCAR will return in an environment that will ensure the safety of our competitors, officials and all those in the local community. We thank local, state and federal officials and medical experts, as well as everyone in the industry, for the unprecedented support in our return to racing, and we look forward to joining our passionate fans in watching cars return to the track."
Along with Sunday's race, NASCAR will host six additional races this month. After Sunday's race, NASCAR will have another race at Darlington on Tuesday, May 19, which will be part of the Xfinity Series. On Wednesday, May 20, Darlington will host another NASCAR race which will be 500 kilometers long. The final four NASCAR races in May will take place in Charlotte.
The last NASCAR event took place on March 8 at the Phoenix Raceway. NASCAR was set to have a race in Atlanta the following week, but it was postponed as well the race in Miami the week after. Ultimately, NASCAR put the season on hold, and drivers began competing in iRacing events. There are no NASCAR events scheduled after May.