Butch Jones and Frank Beamer To Serve As Co-Grand Marshals At Bristol


Oct 14, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Frank Beamer and athletic director Jim Weaver and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway Jerry Caldwell and Speedway Motorsports Inc. president Marcus Smith and Tennessee Volunteers athletic director Dave Hart and head coach Butch Jones pose for a photo after announcing that the Tennessee Volunteers and Virginia Tech Hokies will play a football game on Sep. 10, 2016 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

For the second year in a row Butch Jones will say the most famous words in all of NASCAR at the Food City 500.

Only this time around, he’ll have a little help uttering those famous words — Gentlemen start your engines!

Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer will be alongside Jones to serve as co-Grand Marshal at the Food City 500 in Bristol on March 16.

Tennessee and Virginia Tech are set to square off on September 10, 2016, at which point they hope to break the all-time collegiate attendance record of 115,109. That record was set at Michigan Stadium in 2013 in a game between Notre Dame and Michigan.

Mar 17, 2013; Bristol, TN, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick (left) autographs a football for Tennessee Volunteers head football coach Butch Jones before the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

This will be the second time that both coaches have served as Grand Marshal at Bristol. Beamer was previously the honorary starter in 2005. Jones had the honor in 2013, when he famously posed for photos with NASCAR driver Danica Patrick (who has some UT connections of her own).

Bristol is about half way between Tennessee and Virginia Tech. It’s location serves as the perfect neutral venue for a game of this magnitude.