Bristol Motor Speedway’s upcoming triple header continues to be cause for added celebration for one locally owned and operated grocery chain. Twenty years ago, Food City signed on as the title sponsor of the March Food City 500 Sprint Cup event, as well as the August Food City 250 Nationwide Series race.
“Our race sponsorship actually came about as a result of Food City Family Race Night,” says Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer. “Our annual race night events helped us better understand the strong allegiance that the fans have with their favorite drivers and team owners. That realization is really what prompted our decision to become the title sponsor of the Food City 500 and Food City 250.”
In 1995, Food City signed on for three years as associate sponsor of the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, owned by Richard Childress and driven by the late Dale Earnhardt. In commemoration, the regional grocer has named Childress as honorary starter of the 20th Anniversary Food City 250. Childress will waive the green flag to signal the start of the August 24, 2012 event.
“I'm honored that Food City asked me to be the honorary starter to help celebrate their 20th year of involvement with the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway," said Childress. "Food City has been a great supporter of NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway, and they were a sponsor of the No. 3 Chevy with Dale back in the day. I want to thank Food City for helping grow our sport over the years and for 20 years of involvement at Bristol Motor Speedway.”
Food City is Bristol Motor Speedway’s longest running sponsor and the second longest in all of NASCAR motorsports. “The past 20 years have been filled with scores of unforgettable moments and priceless experiences. Our sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt and the No. 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet certainly tops the list and we’re honored to have our good friend and colleague Richard Childress serve as honorary starter for the 20th Anniversary Food City 250,” says Smith.
Food City Family Race Night also celebrates its 25th Anniversary in August. The fan-based event is among the largest on the NASCAR circuit and has contributed a combined total of over $500,000 to numerous local non-profit organizations.. Family Race Night takes place in downtown Bristol on Thursday, August 23, 2012.
Qualifying for the Food City 250 takes place Friday afternoon at 3:40 p.m. with the race slated to begin at 7:30 that evening. Tickets for the race, which features defending race winner Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne and Danica Patrick, along with Nationwide regulars Elliott Sadler, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Austin Dillon and Justin Allgaier, are available, starting at $45.