The 54th Governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey (R), is set to give the command to fire the engines prior to the running of Talladega Superspeedway’s Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Sunday, Oct. 15. Governor Ivey, who, has held several different roles in Alabama politics, officially took the oath of office on April 10, 2017, becoming only the second female to serve as Alabama’s governor and the first in 50 years.

A 1967 graduate of Auburn University, Gov. Ivey spent time as a high school teacher and bank officer, as well as the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (1985-88) and the Assistant Director of the Alabama Development Office (1982-85). Additionally, from 1980-1982, she was a Reading Clerk of the House of Representatives under Speaker Joseph C. McCorquodale.

Prior to serving as Governor of Alabama, Ivey served as the State Treasurer from 2002-2010. She was elected as Lieutenant Governor in 2010, making her the first Republican woman elected to that role in Alabama’s history. Four years later, Gov. Ivey again cemented her place in history by becoming the first Republican Lieutenant Governor re-elected to the position. During her time as Lieutenant Governor, she also served as the President of the Senate.

“We are honored that Governor Kay Ivey will serve as our Grand Marshal and give the most famous command in motorsports – “Drivers, Start Your Engines” – for the upcoming Alabama 500,” said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. “Her drive for improving the state of Alabama’s education, job creation and infrastructure is recognized by NASCAR’s Most Competitive venue and we are proud to have her take part in our highly anticipated race weekend.”

Gov. Ivey has received numerous honors and awards for her service to the State of Alabama, including the 2015 ALFA Service to Agriculture Award, Newmax’s 50 Most Influential Female Republican in the country and, most recently, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 2016 Public Service Award.