Grant Lynch, the leader of Talladega Superspeedway for more than half the track’s existence, has been a delight for years during pre-race ceremonies with his back-and-forth chatter with the fans via microphone on the public address system with that chant “This is More than a Race…..This is Talladega.”
Well, for the upcoming GEICO 500, set for Sunday, April 28, his responsibilities on the microphone just increased. Officials from GEICO announced today that the fan-friendly, likeable Lynch, who will retire this coming November, will serve as the race’s Grand Marshal and give the command, “Drivers, Start Your Engines.”
Lynch, the Speedway Chairman who joined the staff at the 2.66-mile venue in January of 1993, will depart after more than a quarter century of service to the track, the local community and the state of Alabama just weeks after the completion of Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project presented by Graybar.
Transformation, the approximate $50 million redevelopment (www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/transformation) endeavor, is part of International Speedway Corporation’s long-term capital allocation plan and reinvestment into its major motorsports complexes and is highlighted by the one-of-a-kind Talladega Garage Experience, which will allow fans to be immersed into the sport of NASCAR like never before. It will be completed in time for the track’s fall event weekend in October.
Lynch has overseen many changes and updates to make the mammoth track the best in NASCAR as well as the most fan-friendly such as the construction of new grandstands with comfortable fold-out chairs and the addition of the mammoth video boards. There’s also been a host of fan programming that has been introduced during his reign, including the “Big One on the Blvd.”, the traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert, Kids VIP Experience presented by Children’s of Alabama, Military Appreciation, First Responders presented by 1st Foundation offer and Teacher & Educator Appreciation.
Lynch started as the track General Manager in ’93 and was promoted to Vice President of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and President of Talladega Superspeedway in November of the same year. In July 2009, he became TSS Chairman.
Lynch came to Talladega after 11 years with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., where in his last post, he served as Senior Manager of Operations and Public Relations, managing the company’s involvement in NASCAR’s premier series. His career there spanned back to 1982 when he joined RJR Special Events as a show car driver.
The GEICO 500 gets the green flag on Sunday, April 28, at 1 p.m. CDT. For ticket information on it, as well as the Saturday (April 27) MoneyLion 300 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the General Tire 200 on Friday (April 26) for the ARCA Menards Series, call 855-518-RACE (7223) or log on to www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.