Coastal QB inks deal with Darlington Raceway | College

SCOTT CHANCEY (Florence) Morning News

DARLINGTON – Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall is a primary force in the Chanticleers’ rise.

He’s the two-time, Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and MVP in Coastal’s Cure Bowl win over Northern Illinois. FBS’ career leader in passing efficiency (196.09) and signal-caller in the Chanticleers’ 2020 win over BYU, McCall is just a junior.

Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp certainly considers that Too Tough to Tame. As a result, NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway inked McCall to an NIL deal. It became the first NASCAR-owned track to officially partner with a student-athlete since the new NCAA regulations were passed.

On July 29, along with Cup driver Ty Dillon, McCall filmed commercials to promote the Shriners Children’s presents Darlington Labor Day Race Weekend, which is Sept. 3-4 at Darlington. At 3 pm Sept. 3, the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race will start. And at 6 pm Sept. 4, NASCAR’s Cup playoffs begin with the 73rd Cook Out Southern 500. USA Network will televise both events.

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Dillon even took McCall for a spin around the track.

“It was really exciting,” McCall said. “To get that close to the wall that fast and just ride around the track was a pretty cool experience, for sure. I grew up driving past this place. I’ve seen it a lot, growing up. It’s good to finally get to work with them. They do a lot for the community. It’s a privilege for me to take this opportunity and make the most of it.”

McCall also will help promote next year’s events at Darlington. And, he will have an active presence on the track’s digital platforms and be featured in some of the track’s marketing campaigns. He will also promote NASCAR and Darlington on his own social channels.

“Grayson McCall is one of the finest quarterbacks in college football, so we are proud to partner with him as the first NASCAR owned track NIL athlete,” Tharp said. “Grayson has had a dynamic collegiate career setting NCAA and school records and has lived his entire life in the Carolinas. His playing style exemplifies toughness and competitiveness, and he is the ideal athlete to help promote Darlington’s Too Tough to Tame brand.”

McCall, a North Carolina native, said he’s happy to have a hand in promoting such a big event in the Carolinas.

McCall, Coastal Carolina beat N. Illinois 47-41 in Cure Bowl

“I love this town and this area. Coastal Carolina kind of made me into who I am,” McCall said. “I love this school and I love the people here in the region. With Darlington being right down the road and a huge part of the sports culture, partnering with them just makes sense. It just helps fulfill a legacy I want to leave here. Plus, going a couple hundred miles an hour is kind of my thing, too.”

McCall sure went fast around the track.

“It got the blood going,” McCall said. “(Dillon) kind of put the pedal to the metal and squealed the tires a little bit. So that was exciting to get the thing going. I wasn’t too nervous. I trust that guy; he does it for a living, so he did a good job.”

McCall said he didn’t need to grab onto any inside part of the car while going around the track.

“(Dillon) was explaining to me his mindset as he was going, and what he looks for on the track,” McCall said. “It’s really cool.”

McCall was then asked which driver is his favorite. has a new special: $1 for 26 weeks

“Dale Earnhardt, of course,” McCall said. “I wasn’t the biggest NASCAR guy growing up, but he was the guy to watch.”

“Chase Elliott, maybe? There ya go,” he said.

More about name dedication

“Shriners Children’s has been making a positive impact in the lives of children and families for a hundred years, so we are proud to welcome them as the presenting sponsor of our traditional Labor Day Race Weekend at Darlington Raceway,” Tharp said. “With Shriners Children’s hospital in Greenville, we support the organization’s 100th anniversary and international mission of Shriners Children’s across the Palmetto State.”

“We are excited to team up with Darlington Raceway in support of our life-changing mission,” added Kenny G. Craven, Imperial Potentate of Shriners International and CEO of Shriners Children’s. “Our healthcare system has helped more than 1.5 million children, including at our Greenville hospital, in the heart of NASCAR country. Shriners Children’s is proud to present the Labor Day NASCAR Race Weekend and spread the word about the amazing care offered at Shriners Children’s. We appreciate Darlington’s efforts to help provide life-changing care for children from this region and around the world.”

Shriners Children’s is a special, one-of-a-kind healthcare system with a reputation for finding answers, and giving families hope for their child’s future. Since opening their first hospital in 1922, Shriners Children’s has made it their mission to improve the lives of children, regardless of a families’ ability to pay or insurance status. Over the last century, Shriners Children’s has treated more than 1.5 million children, and that commitment to change lives hasn’t changed, but has only strengthened.

For 100 years, Shriners Children’s has been devoted to providing hope and healing – backed by expertise and innovation – to every child they treat. This is accomplished through their three-part mission to provide high quality and comprehensive care for children with special health care needs, research to gain new treatments knowledge and, and providing educational opportunities for physicians and other healthcare professionals. Shriners Children’s multiple locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico provide excellent and compassionate care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.

As Shriners Children’s celebrates 100 years of hope and healing, the organization is looking forward to the next hundred years of changing and improving the lives of children. To learn more about Shriners Children’s, visit


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