Food City 250 Grand Marshal Pat Summitt.
Aug. 25, 2012
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Tennessee Head Women's Basketball Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt served as the grand marshal of the Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Friday night, giving the command for the drivers to "start your engines" at Bristol Motor Speedway.
In her first-ever appearance at BMS and at a NASCAR race, Summitt also cheered on Knoxville's Trevor Bayne, who drove the No. 60 Roush Fenway "We Back PatTM"-themed Ford Mustang. Unofficially, Bayne wound up with a 16th-place finish in a field of 43 cars after hitting the wall while attempting to pass the No. 3 car driven by Austin Dillon. Joey Logano took the checkered flag after starting in the No. 2 position behind pole-sitter Bayne.
In addition to speaking the most famous words in racing, Summitt also spent time before the Food City 250 meeting NASCAR personnel and visiting with some of the drivers, including Bayne, Danica Patrick and Jimmie Johnson.
Summitt also had her own pit crew on hand, as the entire Lady Vol basketball staff, including first-year Head Coach Holly Warlick, as well as personnel from the Pat Summitt Foundation, were there to support the NCAA's all-time winningest basketball coach. They also were firmly behind Bayne, whose YourRaceCar.com ride generated great awareness for The Pat Summitt Foundation, a fund of the East Tennessee Foundation.
The Pat Summitt Foundation's mission is to make grants to nonprofits that provide 1) education and awareness of Alzheimer's, its onset and treatment, 2) support services to patients, their families and caregivers, and 3) research to treat, prevent, cure, and ultimately eradicate this disease that ultimately forced Summitt to step away from the UT head coaching position after 38 seasons.