WJTV News Channel 12 - Frank Beamer named honorary pace car driver for Martinsville NAS

Frank Beamer named honorary pace car driver for Martinsville NASCAR race

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MARTINSVILLE, VA -

Virginia Tech's legendary football coach will once against hold a key role at a NASCAR race.

Martinsville Speedway on Tuesday, named Frank Beamer as the honorary pace car driver for this coming Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500.

"My only question is, has anyone ever wrecked the pace car?" asked Beamer, according to the Speedway.  "If not, I hope I'm not the first."

Beamer will drive the pace car for laps which lead up to the start of the race, then turn the wheel over to regular pace car driver Brett Bodine.

Several years ago, Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell and Beamer became friends.  Campbell has since given Beamer a "golden pass" to Campbell's suite at the speedway.

"Frank is a friend of mine, a friend of Martinsville Speedway and a friend of NASCAR. He truly loves our sport and he understands our sport," said Campbell in a news release. "When Frank comes to a race, it's to watch and enjoy the race. He's a real race fan."

"I'm honored to be going. I've been to Martinsville before and I enjoy NASCAR. I look forward to getting down there and finding out how all of the excitement of the last couple of weeks is going to work out," said Beamer in the release.  "I'm disappointed that one of my favorite drivers, Denny Hamlin, whose crew chief Darrian Grub is a Virginia Tech alumnus, won't be racing but I'm excited about being a part of this race at Martinsville.  Being on a tight track … that is going to be interesting because I've always been a short-track guy."

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