Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin to serve as Grand Marshal of 30th Anniversary Food City 300

Published 10:21 am Thursday, September 8, 2022

ABINGDON, VA – Food City is gearing up for the September 16 running of the 30th Anniversary Food City 300, one of the most popular events in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. On September 5, 2022, company officials announced that Virginia Governor, Glenn Youngkin will serve as Grand Marshal, delivering the starting command for Friday night’s clash.
“Food City has stepped up when Virginians needed them most, from Buchanan County flood recovery assistance to aiding families across the Commonwealth.  I’m honored to serve as the grand marshal for this year’s event,” said Governor Youngkin.
Glenn Youngkin is a homegrown Virginian and now serves as the 74th Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. From his first job washing dishes and frying eggs at a diner, he embraced hard work and responsibility to help his family when his father lost his job.  He has taken that same spirit into the Governor’s office seeking economic opportunity for all Virginians. Governor Youngkin recently announced that over 100,000 jobs have been added in Virginia since he took office in January. Married for over 27 years to his wife Suzanne, Governor Youngkin is a dedicated father of four wonderful children.
“We’re very excited to have Governor Glenn Youngkin serving as Grand Marshal of the 30th Anniversary Food City 300.  Our company has always been headquartered in Virginia and our team is excited to welcome the Governor to Bristol Motor Speedway. His focus on creating jobs and growing our economy has been refreshing and we wish him all the best as he continues those efforts,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.
Travis Staton, president, and chief executive officer for United Way of Southwest Virginia will serve as Honorary Starter, waving the green flag to unleash the pack.
“As Honorary Starter of the upcoming Food City 300, I’m honored to represent the many first responders, individuals, and organizations that have been working tirelessly to aid those individuals and families who have lost so much over the past year.  It’s a blessing to stand in good company and work beside two amazing individuals, Governor Glenn Youngkin and Steve Smith, who seek the best interests of all Virginians,” said Staton.
A native of Bristol, VA, Staton oversees United Way of Southwest Virginia operations for nearly 20% of the Commonwealth.  In his role as president and chief executive officer, he serves in numerous leadership and advisory capacities for local, state, and federal initiatives, working to improve the region’s economy. His work has received recognition from national organizations, and Staton was named among Virginia’s 50 most influential people in 2022. He is currently overseeing the long-term recovery efforts for multiple disasters, including the 2021 Hurley, VA flood and the flooding in Buchanan County, VA and surrounding counties that occurred in July. Staton is married to his beautiful wife, Ryiah, who serves as senior vice president and director of marketing for New Peoples Bank. They currently reside in Abingdon, VA and are the proud parents of four young children.
“Food City is proud to be a long-time supporter of the United Way. We would like to commend Travis and his team on the great work they are doing throughout Southwest Virginia and particularly in heading up the flood recovery efforts first in the Hurley area, and now in the Whitewood area of Buchanan County, VA.  We’re honored to have Travis represent our company as Honorary Starter of the 30th Anniversary Food City 300,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.
Food City is the title sponsor of the spring NASCAR Cup Series Food City Dirt Race (formerly the Food City 500) and of the fall Food City 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. Celebrating 30 years of racing, the supermarket retailer is Bristol Motor Speedway’s longest running race entitlement sponsor and the second longest in NASCAR. The 30th Anniversary of the Food City 300 gets underway at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 16, 2022.

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