As the area prepares for the upcoming race weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, the folks at Food City are gearing up for the running of the Food City 500 on March 17.
Company officials recently announced that University of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones will serve as the event Grand Marshal.
A number of public officials and well-known figures have been privileged to announce the four most popular words in motorsports to give the command for drivers to start their engines for the Food City 500, one of the most popular Sprint Cup Series races on the NASCAR schedule.
“As a long-time partner with University of Tennessee athletics, we’re looking forward to working with coach Jones and his staff. Food City is honored to have such a successful and well-respected individual represent our company as Grand Marshal of the Food City 500,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.
Jones owns a 50-27 record in six seasons as a head coach. He joined UT from the University of Cincinnati, where he finished with a 23-14 record in three seasons with the Bearcats.
Jones was also the head coach for three years at Central Michigan, finishing 11-2 in 2009 and posting a 10-3 record and top-25 final national ranking with Cincinnati in 2011.
He has won four conference championships in six seasons as a head coach and earned Big East Conference Coach of the Year honors from the league after his 10-win season with the Bearcats in 2011. Jones earned the same honor from CBSSports.com last season.
“I’m thankful to Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of the Food City 500, one of Tennessee’s marquee sporting events. This is one of the most exciting and unique races on the NASCAR circuit, and I’m looking forward to being a part of what is annually one of the best days of the Sprint Cup Series,” says Jones.
Food City is Bristol Motor Speedway’s longest running sponsor and the second longest in NASCAR motorsports.
The Food City 500 gets under way at 1 p.m. on March 17.
Qualifying for the event takes place on March 15 at 3:40 p.m. Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300 is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. onMarch 16, followed by the K&N Pro Series race at 4:45 p.m.
Tickets are still available and may be purchased at www.bristoltix.com or by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).