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Food City Names Byrd Family to Serve as Grand Marshals of Jeff Byrd 500


Claudia & Christian Byrd and Belton Caldwell to serve as March Grand Marshals
ABINGDON, VA (Friday, March 4, 2011) - Food City officials recently stunned the NASCAR community with their decision to forgo traditional entitlement rights, opting rather to name the March 20 Sprint Cup event the Jeff Byrd 500, Presented by Food City, in honor of the dynamic President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway who passed away last October.
Today company officials announced that Byrd's wife of 36 years, Claudia, along with son Christian and daughter Belton Caldwell will serve as the event Grand Marshals.  Throughout the years, a number of public officials and well-known figures have been privileged to announce the four most popular words in motorsports "Gentlemen, start your engines".
"Our company normally takes several factors into consideration when selecting the race Grand Marshal," said Steven C. Smith, Food City President & CEO.  "I have had the distinct privilege of working with Claudia for many years through our affiliation with Speedway Children's Charities and like Jeff, she is also one of my closest personal friends.  I can't think of anyone better suited to represent the spirit on this special event than Claudia, Belton and Christian.  We are honored to have them represent our company and our region as the Grand Marshals of the Jeff Byrd 500, Presented by Food City."
Food City is Bristol Motor Speedway's longest running sponsor and the second longest in NASCAR motor sports.  2011 marks the supermarket chains 20th year as entitlement sponsor of both the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in March and the Food City 250 Nationwide event in August.  The company also hosts Food City Race Night, one of the premier pre-race events on the circuit.  Since its inception over twenty years ago, Food City Race Night has contributed over $500,000 to numerous non-profit organizations.
Bristol Motor Speedway kicks off its 50th NASCAR season with Ford Fan Friday qualifying March 18, followed by the Scotts EZ Seed 300 March 19 and the Jeff Byrd 500, Presented by Food City March 20. In August, night racing returns with the Aug. 24 O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 and UNOH Perfect Storm 150 doubleheader, followed by the Food City 250 Aug. 26 and the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 27.
Tickets are available to all events and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office toll free at 1-866-415-4158, 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or 423-989-6900 or by visiting
Speedway Motorsports is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates the following premier facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. The Company provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiaries; manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars and parts through its U.S. Legend Cars International subsidiary; and produces and broadcasts syndicated motorsports programming to radio stations nationwide through its Performance Racing Network subsidiary. The Company also equally-owns Motorsports Authentics, a joint venture formed with International Speedway Corporation to produce, market and sell licensed motorsports merchandise. For more information, visit the Company's website at
Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. (Food City's parent company) operates 106 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.