FROM The Greeneville Neighbor News
Food City will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its sponsorship of the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 24 with a very special guest serving as grand marshal.
The legendary Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history who won eight NCAA national championships while coaching at the University of Tennessee, will give the command for drivers to start their engines for the Food City 250, the most popular Nationwide Series race on the NASCAR schedule.
This will mark Summitt’s first visit to the World’s Fastest Half-Mile.
“I have always loved sports and will be honored to be the Grand Marshal for the Food City 240 at Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Summitt. “It will be a thrill to hear the engines fire up and the crowd while I say, “Gentlemen, start your engines.”
Trevor Bayne, a Knoxville resident and NASCAR Sprint Cup/Nationwide Series driver, will pilot a “We Back Pat™”-themed Roush Fenway Ford sponsored by YourRaceCar.com in the in the Food City 250.
“I have a number of friends and family who are big NASCAR fans, and we have been talking about the fun we will have cheering on the “We Back Pat” car and all the other drivers.
“I am deeply touched by the support shown from the race, the participants and fans toward The Pat Summitt Foundation and our commitment to fight Alzheimer’s through awareness, advocacy and research.”
She coached from 1974 to 2012, all with the Lady Vols, winning eight NCAA national championships, second only to the record 10 titles won by UCLA men's coach John Wooden. Summitt is the only coach in NCAA history, and one of three college coaches overall, with 1,000 victories. She was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in April 2000. In 2009, the Sporting News placed her number 11 on its list of the 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time in all sports; she was the only woman on the list. In 38 years as a coach, she never had a losing season. On April 20, 2012, the White House announced that Pat Summitt would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Food City is Bristol Motor Speedway’s longest running sponsor and the second longest in all of NASCAR. “A large number of our customers are NASCAR fans. They’re loyal to Food City, to Bristol, to the sport, to their drivers and to their products,” says Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer. “We would like to thank our customers and associates for their tremendous support and dedication, which makes this all possible and our Bristol Motor Speedway family for twenty unforgettable years!”
In honor of this historic occasion, Food City has invited the Store Managers from each of their 104 supermarkets to serve as Grand Marshals for the March 18th event. President & CEO, Steve Smith will lead the pack in pronouncing the four most famous words in motorsports, “gentlemen start your engines”.
“Like Bristol Motor Speedway, Food City is committed to exceeding the expectations of our customers,” said Smith. “We’ve worked hard to leverage our relationship with NASCAR and our vendor partners to create added excitement for our customers from the store, to the campground, to Food City Race Night, to the track for an unforgettable total Bristol experience. Teamwork has been the key to our success and we’re excited to celebrate this special day as a team, representing the hard work and efforts of our 13,000 outstanding Food City associates.”