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One Lucky Race Fan to Serve as Honorary Starter of Jeff Byrd 500


Food City to Host Contest to Select March Honorary Starter
ABINGDON, VA (Monday, March 7, 2011) - Earlier today, Food City officials announced that one lucky race fan will get the chance of a lifetime...the opportunity to serve as Honorary Starter for the March 20 Jeff Byrd 500, Presented by Food City.
The announcement follows the company's recent decision to forgo traditional entitlement rights and name the Sprint Cup event in honor of Jeff Byrd, the dynamic President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway who passed away last October.
"This is a very special occasion for our company and the entire region," said Steven C. Smith, Food City President & CEO.  "We discussed a number of ideas for Honorary Starter, but kept coming back to Jeff's commitment to the fans.  We couldn't think of anything that would have pleased Jeff more than having one of the race fans waive the green flag to start the Jeff Byrd 500, Presented by Food City."
Four finalists will be randomly selected to take the stage during pre-race ceremonies, where one of them will win the opportunity to drop the green flag to start the Jeff Byrd 500.  Byrd's wife of 36 years, Claudia, along with son Christian and daughter Belton Caldwell will serve as event Grand Marshals.
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  For complete contest details, visit or
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.