Carowinds auctioning coaster rides for charity

A theme park on the South Carolina-North Carolina state line is auctioning the first rides on its new roller coaster to raise money for charities.

The Greenville News reported Monday that Carowinds in Fort Mill is auctioning the first rides on the Intimidator, a $23 million coaster named for the late racing legend Dale Earnhardt.

At nearly one mile in length and 232 feet tall, it opens March 27. It has nine drops and will reach speeds of up to 80 mph in the more than 3-minute ride. Carowinds public relations manager Dani Swords says the total of 96 seats on the first three trains are being offered for a minimum bid of $50 each.

The money will go to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, which will divide the money among the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Red Cross and Make-a-Wish Foundation.