Labonte To Start Engines At Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Terry Labonte, who will be inducted into the 2016 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, will serve as Grand Marshal for the Bojangles‘ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 6. Labonte will give the command to start engines accompanied by Bojangles‘ CEO Clifton Rutledge. Labonte‘s involvement in the Bojangles‘ Southern 500 further enhances the track‘s throwback platform of celebrating the history and heritage of the sport. Labonte is the last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to win the Bojangles‘ Southern 500, when it was held on Labor Day weekend, August 31, 2003. It was his final victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ironically, Labonte‘s first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win also came at Darlington in the 1980 Bojangles‘ Southern 500. “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,” Labonte said. “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.” Rutledge, who has served as Bojangles‘ CEO for the past two years, is excited for the Famous Chicken n‘ Biscuits restaurant chain to begin the first of its five-year extension as the entitlement partner of the Bojangles‘ Southern 500 through 2019. Bojangles‘ has owned the naming rights to the Southern 500 since 2012. “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,” Rutledge said. “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.” The Tradition Returns to Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles‘ Southern 500one space® is set for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015 (7 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 5 (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Tickets are on sale now by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at Fans are encouraged to post their Bojangles‘ Southern 500 stories and memories at #TraditionReturns, #BojanglesSo500 and #SportClips200.

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