Race Official For A Day - Payton Manning To Shadow Dale Jr at Bristol

                                                                                                                                                                            Photo Credit: Bristol Motor Speedway

Bristol Motor Speedway announced on Wednesday that Peyton Manning will act as an Honorary Race Official and accompany fellow Nationwide spokesperson Dale Earnhardt Jr. through driver introductions and sit atop the No. 88 pit box during the Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 (April 17, 1 p.m. ET, FOX). This will be Manning's first NASCAR experience, courtesy of Nationwide.

"I'm thrilled to get a chance to watch Dale compete at Bristol Motor Speedway," said the recently retired Manning. "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."

Manning is a beloved public figure in Tennessee, known not only for his NFL career -- in which he won a Super Bowl title with Denver in February -- but also attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. At UT, Manning finished his career holding 42 NCAA, SEC and Tennessee records. He won the Maxwell Award as the nation's most outstanding player, the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Player of the Year honors his senior season, securing his All-American status in 1997.

"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."