No doubt recognizing a good promotional opportunity, Bristol Motor Speedway has named University of Tennessee football head coach Butch Jones and his Virginia Tech counterpart, Frank Beamer, as co-Grand Marshals for this weekend’s Food City 500 at the half-mile oval.
BMS will host a college football game, the ‘Battle at Bristol,’ between Jones’ Volunteers and Beamer’s Hokies on Sept. 10, 2016.
The game could shatter the all-time attendance record for a college football game as almost all of the track’s 160,000 seats will be available for seating.
Both Jones and Beamer have been race dignitaries before in “Thunder Valley.” Jones was a Grand Marshal during last year’s spring race at Bristol, while Beamer was the honorary starter for the same race back in 2005.
But Beamer’s gone one step further, having competed in a pro-am charity race at Bristol in 2009.
“We are very much looking forward to breaking the all-time college football attendance record in September 2016 at Bristol,” Jones said in a statement.
“While our game is still two years away, I had such a great time at last year’s race that I wanted to return to Bristol to witness again one of NASCAR’s most iconic and exciting events.”
“To be the Co-Grand Marshal with [Jones] is a pleasure as we represent the two schools that have a lot of fans in this area,” Beamer said in his own thoughts.
“Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the most exciting sports venues that I know and like to visit, and we look forward to playing Tennessee there in 2016 before the largest crowd to ever watch a football game.”