Tha Sports Junkies 101

Peyton Manning Named Honorary Race Official For Food City 500


Former Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning will serve as honorary race official for the Food City 500 on April 17. Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced Manning’s involvement with the race Wednesday.

As an honorary race official, Manning will accompany Dale Earnhardt Jr. during driver introductions. Bristol Motor Speedway executive vice president Jerry Campbell said in a statement, “I don’t think it’s possible to pair two more beloved sports figures in the state of Tennessee than Peyton Manning and Dale Earnhardt Jr.” The pairing also are spokesmen for Nationwide Insurance, appearing in multiple ads in the past several years.

“I’m thrilled to get a chance to watch Dale compete at Bristol Motor Speedway,” Manning said in a track news release. “I want to thank Nationwide for bringing me to one of the great NASCAR tracks to watch what I’m sure will be an exciting race in front of some of the most passionate fans in the sport.”

“It’s pretty awesome that Peyton Manning is coming out to Bristol. I think he’s going to enjoy watching the race there because it’s such an amazing race track,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “It’s awesome to have a legend like him coming to participate and enjoy our sport. He’s going to enjoy his experience, I’m sure, and we’re excited to have him.”

Manning announced his retirement last month after capping his career by helping the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl. The five-time NFL MVP played at Tennessee from 1994-97 and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up his senior season.