Governor Henry McMaster's speech during Wednesday's inauguaration contained a few sports references.

But when the Governor wanted to make a point about improving education in the state, he used racing as an example and in the process, provided Darlington Raceway with an unexpected promotion.

"NASCAR racing in Darlington, if you haven't been, you ought to go," Governor McMaster said.

"It is excellence in engineering, perfection, high speed, raw courage, brute force. It is something to see. In 2003, after 400 miles with average speeds topping 125 miles per hour, including yellow flags and pit stops, Ricky Craven in a number 32 Pontiac beat Kurt Busch in a number 97 Ford by two one-thousandths of a second. In distance, that would be the thickness of the paint on the front bumper. If one of Mr. Craven's tires had been even a little bit flat, he would have lost. Similarly, our state will never excel and succeed to our fullest potential if parts of our state are "flat" – or not performing. If we are bold and prepare for the race in front of us - South Carolina will beat the competition every time."

The only thing McMaster didn't do was remind the public that tickets for the 2019 Bojangles Southern 500 are on sale now. The throwback campaign will honor the 1990-1994 era of NASCAR.