Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough to drive Southern 500 pace car

(Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for Darlington Raceway)
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NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough, a five-time winner at Darlington Raceway, will once again be at the front of a Sprint Cup field on Sept. 4.

That’s when Yarborough will be the honorary pace car driver for the Southern 500, leading the field of 40 cars prior to the green flag for the race at the South Carolina track.

A native of Timmonsville, South Carolina, about 20 minutes south of Darlington, the three-time Cup champion earned 83 Sprint Cup wins in his career. All five of his Darlington wins came in the Southern 500.

“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. “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’ race track that can give you fits. When I was racing, I wanted to win the Southern 500 more than any other race. I still get goose bumps 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 last competed in 1988 and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012.

Members of the 2017 class, Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin and Richard Childress, are the grand marshals for the Sept. 4 race, which can been seen on NBC.