DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - The countdown to the Bojangles’ Southern 500 is officially underway in Darlington.
As “The King” himself, Richard Petty made his way to the sport’s second oldest track to help unveil Bubba Wallace’s throwback design that honors his late grandson Adam Petty.
This will be the 70th running of the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and the 5th year of the NASCAR throwback weekend, which has been growing in popularity.
“No matter where you’re at, you have to have history, and this is history,” said Petty.
Adam Petty was NASCAR’s first-ever fourth generation driver who tragically died in a crash during a practice lap in 2000 at the age of 19.
Petty’s Victory Junction 43 will take to the “Track Too Tough to Tame” on Labor Day weekend with Wallace, one of NASCAR’s young and upcoming drivers, behind the wheel.
“We know how much hype there is around the Southern 500 and to be able to bring back the beautiful paint scheme Adam won with in Charlotte is special, so I’m excited and ready to roll,” said Wallace.
After a few pictures and autographs, Wallace suited up and took us on the ride of a lifetime around the iconic Lady In Black, reaching speeds well over 150 mph.
The Petty family knows the track will challenge any experienced driver, even “The King,” who only captured one victory during his historic career at Darlington Raceway.
“I always thought I got around the race track good, my luck was just never that good,” said Petty.
This will be Wallace’s third throwback weekend at Darlington. He finished second in last year’s Southern 500.
Wallace will look to write his own history with the historic 43, a number that is tied to the Pettys.
“Being part of the 43 and the RPM organization, obviously there’s a ton of history that comes with that and no disrespect to the name, the family or the number, but it’s an opportunity for me to rewrite my own history with the 43,” said Wallace. “It’s just a honor and privilege to be driving these race cars and showcase what I can do."
WMBF News will have full coverage from Darlington throughout Labor Day weekend.
All leading to the 70th running of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 1st at 6:00 p.m.