NASCAR racing legend honored in Florence

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – After 84 NASCAR Winston Cup victories and winning the Daytona 500 four times, Cale Yarborough is perhaps the best driver of all time.

On Wednesday, Yarborough was honored not only for his feats on the track, but in the community as well.

The Timmonsville native donated his famous 29 car to the Florence County Museum in 2016. Now, it stands on display with a 28-foot-wide mural inside the Florence Center.

This kind of honor is a first for Yarborough, who couldn't imagine this happening when he got into his first car as a teenager.

"One thing that I'm proud of is being a part of the sport, being able to help build it to where it is today," he said. "It's a big sport today."

Winning his first race as a pro in Valdosta in 1965, Yarborough talks about the difference between the sport then and now.

"They got racetracks all over the nation now," said the 78-year-old. "It used to be just a southern sport, and they're all over the nation now. People get to enjoy the sport about everywhere."

Off the track, there's a support system that's not often talked about, one that dates back 57 years with his wife, Betty Jo.

"I was very fortunate that I was able with racing that I'd be a big part of his life," she said. "He made sure that we were there and today's he's not changed a bit."

While an honor like Wednesday's is usually the culmination of somebody's career, that's not the case for Yarborough.

"I'm a fan for life. I love racing and always will love it for as long as I live," he said.

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