Rusty Wallace to Give Command on Sunday

BRISTOL, Tenn.– Rusty Wallace will deliver “the most famous words in motorsports” for Sunday’s race at Thunder Valley.

Speaking at the corporate headquarters in Abingdon, Virginia, Steven C. Smith, president and CEO of Food City, announced that the NASCAR Hall of Famer will give the command to fire engines for this Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“Over the years, Rusty has always been one of the greatest supporters of Food City and our racing program,” Smith said. “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.”

In 44 career starts at Bristol, the 1989 Sprint Cup Series champion amassed nine wins (including four season sweeps), 22 top fives (50 percent) and 29 top-10s (65.91 percent),a 9.6 finishing average and 3723 total laps led. In 14 of those 44 starts, he led more than 100 laps and he also led at least one lap in 29 starts at Bristol.

Wallace’s last two wins at Thunder Valley came in a season sweep of the races in 2000. He started sixth and led 86 laps on his way to winning in the spring. In the summer, he started on the pole and led 279 laps on his way to winning.

He finished his career tied with Dale Earnhardt and Cale Yarborough for second on the all-time wins list at Bristol behind Darrell Waltrip and his 12 wins.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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