Lady Vols head coach emeritus has long conquered the world of basketball. Now, she's ready for the world of NASCAR!
Pat Summitt will be the grand marshal of the Food City 250 race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 24. In addition, Knoxville driver Trevor Bayne will drive a "We Back Pat" themed car during the race.
Summitt says this will be her first visit to "The World's Fastest Half-Mile."
"I have always loved sports and will be honored to be the Grand Marshal for the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway," said Summitt. "It will be a thrill to hear the engines fire up and the crowd while I say, 'Drivers, start your engines.'"
The race will mark the 20th anniversary of Food City's sponsorship of the race.
"As a long-time partner of University of Tennessee athletics, Food City is honored to have Coach Summitt serve as our Grand Marshal," said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer. "Her success and dedication have earned Coach Summitt the title of one of the most respected individuals in all of sports. She is an ideal role model for youth throughout the entire nation."
Summitt, who is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, stepped down as the Lady Vols head coach in April. She was diagnosed with early on-set dementia, Alzheimer's type, last year.
"We Back Pat" became a rallying cry of support for Summitt after her diagnosis.
"I have a number of friends and family who are big NASCAR fans, and we have been talking about the fun we will have cheering on the 'We Back Pat' car and all the other drivers," said Summitt.
"I am deeply touched by the support shown from the race, the participants and fans toward The Pat Summitt Foundation and our commitment to fight Alzheimer's through awareness, advocacy and research."
The Food City 250 takes the green flag Friday night, Aug. 24 at 7:30. Tickets are still available, starting at $45 each. To purchase tickets, call toll-free 1.866.415.4158 or go to their website.