NASCAR's Honorary Starter

Ralph named an honorary starter in NASCAR’s return to Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With NASCAR making its return to Middle Tennessee this weekend, Vanderbilt women’s basketball head coach Shea Ralph will be part of the festivities as the honorary starter for Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250.

As the honorary starter, Ralph will get Saturday’s race started by waving the green flag of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, which is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network.

“I’m so honored to be part of NASCAR’s return to Nashville this weekend,” Ralph said. “Nashville is a sports town, and the first NASCAR event here in Middle Tennessee in over a decade is an exciting step for welcoming an international audience back to Music City as we return from the pandemic. It’s going to be an amazing weekend and I’m excited to wave the green flag on Saturday at the Tennessee Lottery 250.”

This weekend marks NASCAR’s first events at Nashville Superspeedway since 2011 when both the Xfinity Series and the Truck Series ran two races in April and July. That marked the end of an 11-year run at the track from 2001-11.

Events this weekend get underway Friday with the Truck Series race, the Rackley Roofing 200. That will be followed by Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250 with the Xfinity Series before the Cup Series’ Ally 400 on Sunday.

Sunday’s race marks the first Cup Series race in Middle Tennessee in 37 years going back to 1984, when the event took place at the Fairgrounds Speedway.

Nashville Superspeedway is located in Gladeville, Tennessee, about 30 miles southwest of Music City. Tickets to the weekend’s races can be purchased via Ticketmaster by clicking here.

This weekend’s festivities are headlined by 12-time Grammy winner CeCe Winans, multi-platinum award winning country superstar Luke Combs and Music City rising stars Priscilla Block and Brandon Lay. Other special guests include Chris Janson, John Anderson and Bernard Pollard.