Rusty Wallace named grand marshal for Food City 500

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, who scored nine of his 55 career Sprint Cup victories at Bristol Motor Speedway, will give the command for drivers to start engines Sunday.

The 1989 series champion won races at Bristol in three different decades, beginning with his first victory at the half-mile track in 1986. His last two victories at Bristol came in 2000 when he swept both events.

He retired after the 2005 season, finishing with 706 career starts. He is tied for third all-time with Ricky Rudd for most consecutive seasons with at least one victory at 16. Wallace’s Sprint Cup victory total ranks ninth on the career list.

“Over the years, Rusty has always been one of the greatest supporters of Food City and our racing program. As the driver who boasts the most Food City 500 wins (six), we thought it appropriate to recognize his tremendous contributions to our company and the sport by naming him Grand Marshal for the 25th running of the Food City 500,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer, in a statement from the track.