ABINGDON, VA – Food City officials announced Thursday that Tennessee’s Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey was named the Honorary Starter of the Food City 500 race at Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday.

The following is the full release issued Thursday by Food City:Tennessee’s Lt. Governor, Ron Ramsey has been named Honorary Starter for the April 17 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.  Lt. Governor Ramsey will wave the green flag to signal the start of Sunday’s Food City 500.“Throughout his career, Lt. Governor Ramsey has been extremely instrumental in serving the best interests of the Great State of Tennessee, and particularly Northeast Tennessee.  He’s been a staunch supporter and one of the driving forces behind the Tennessee Wine Bill to make possible the sale of wine in supermarkets and we certainly appreciate his efforts and look forward to stocking the shelves of our Tennessee locations in the very near future to meet the longstanding customer demand.  Lt. Governor Ramsey is a great friend to Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway.  He is also a tremendous asset to our region as a whole and we’re thrilled to have him serve as our event Honorary Starter,” says Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.Lt. Governor Ramsey has built a reputation as the leading voice for economic growth in the General Assembly.  The first Republican Senate Speaker in 140 years, Ramsey has been named “The Best Lawmaker for Business in Tennessee” by Business Tennessee magazine for his success in passing pro-growth policy to improve the state’s business climate.  A small business owner himself, Ramsey believes job growth must be the top priority for state government. He is the first GOP Senate Speaker in Tennessee in 140 years and the first from Sullivan County in over 100 years.  In 2011, Ramsey was named to the Board of Directors of National Conference of State Legislators. In 2013, GOPAC named Lt. Governor Ramsey to their Legislative Leaders Advisory Board.Active in his profession and community, Ramsey served as president of the Bristol Association of Realtors and was a member of the first “40 Under Forty” class recognized by The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia. He is a member of the Tennessee Auctioneer Hall of Fame and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bristol Chamber of Commerce in 2013.The Lt. Governor is a proud member of Elizabeth Chapel United Methodist Church where he serves as a Sunday School teacher. Ramsey resides in Blountville with his wife, Sindy. The Ramseys have three daughters, three sons-in-law, four grandsons, Parker, Briggs, Graham and Anders and one granddaughter, Sadie.”Food City is Bristol Motor Speedway’s longest running sponsor and the second longest in NASCAR motorsports.  The Food City 500 gets under way at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, 2016.  Bush’s Beans Pole Day Qualifying takes place on Friday, April 15 at 4:15 p.m.  The Fitzgerald Gilder Kits 300 is scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, followed by the PittLite 125 at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and may be purchased at www.bristoltix.com or by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).