Next month, Darlington Raceway will continue its tradition of a throwback weekend with old paint schemes and familiar faces. This time, 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Cale Yarborough will pace the field prior to the green flag.
Yarborough, 77, is a native of Timmonsville, S.C., 20 minutes outside of Darlington. The five-time Southern 500 winner is going back to the track that meant so much to him growing up.
“This is quite an honor and I’m really looking forward to being the honorary pace car driver for the Bojangles’ Southern 500,” Yarborough said in a press release. “The Southern 500 is the reason I got into racing. When I saw my first one, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Darlington is a tough, ol’ racetrack that can give you fits. When I was racing, I wanted to win the Southern 500 more than any other race. I still get goosebumps when I drive by the race track. I just may have to run a few laps and show those young folks how it’s done.”
Yarborough recorded 83 Sprint Cup victories in 31 seasons behind the wheel. He last competed in 1988 at Atlanta, finishing 10th. It was his third top-10 finish in 10 races that year.
Carl Edwards is the defending winner of the Southern 500. 2017 NASCAR Hall of Famers Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin and Richard Childress will give the command to start engines on that evening.
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