As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series prepares to return to tradition with Labor Day weekend's Bojangles' Southern 500, Darlington Raceway has named 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Terry Labonte as the grand marshal.
Throughout his 37-year Sprint Cup career, Labonte recorded 22 victories, 182 top fives, 361 top 10s, 27 poles and two Sprint Cup championships.
Labonte also has two wins at Darlington, the first of his career in the 1980 Southern 500 and the last Southern 500 run on Labor Day weekend in 2003, Labonte's final Sprint Cup victory.
"Darlington is where I won my first race and my last, and I'm honored to serve as Grand Marshal for the first time at the Bojangles' Southern 500," said Labonte. "I love the Labor Day tradition, and Darlington always brings back special memories for me. I look forward to being part of such a historic weekend for NASCAR."
Labonte will give the command to fire engines along with Bojangles' CEO Clifton Rutledge. Bojangles' recently signed a five-year extension with Darlington to serve as the entitlement sponsor of the Southern 500 through 2019.
"Darlington Raceway has such a rich history in NASCAR and the state of South Carolina, and it is truly a privilege for Bojangles' to have our brand aligned with such a memorable event," said Rutledge. "The Bojangles' Southern 500 is returning to Labor Day weekend where it belongs and that is a big deal to everyone, including all of us at Bojangles'. For me, being a part of giving the command to start engines with a NASCAR legend like Terry Labonte is a huge thrill."