BRISTOL, Tenn. — Organizers unveiled the trophy for the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol on Wednesday at a press conference at Bristol Motor Speedway’s Bristol Club.
Bristol Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell, University of Tennessee Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart and Virginia Tech Athletic Director Whit Babcock unveiled the trophy that will go to the winner of next month’s inaugural Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol. Midwest Trophy Manufacturing made the trophy, which features a chrome football on a chrome pedestal surrounded by a metallic, miniature Bristol Motor Speedway at its base.
Both athletic directors shared the excitement that their respective universities and fans have expressed for the Battle at Bristol, which is slated for Sept. 10 with an 8 p.m. ET kickoff on ABC. Over 150,000 fans are expected to be in attendance.
“The excitement on our campus is at an all-time high with job that Butch Jones has done in leading our football program back to being relevant,” Hart said. “It is my hope for the fans, who have been so passionate, loyal and patient, that this is the year that we will be able to reward them. This is the most unique opportunity that you can ever ask for if you are a player.”
“Dave hit it on the head. We are in the same spot right now with a head of optimism and everybody is undefeated,” Babcock said. “In 31 days we have a chance to be a part of the biggest game in college football history.”
Caldwell also discussed gameday parking and camping information at the press conference. He also spoke about the stadium infield’s transformation into a football field, fan attractions and the Bristol Tailgate Party on Sept. 9, featuring Kenny Chesney, The Band Perry and Old Dominion.