Photo credit: Donald Page, Tennessee Athletics
Austin Dillon showed off his football form Thursday as part of the Bristol Motor Speedway Victory Tour.
The Sprint Cup Series rookie visited the University of Tennessee, where he met football coach Butch Jones, explored Neyland Stadium and showcased his throwing arm at the football team's practice facility. He also chatted with Bristol Motor Speedway General Manager Jerry Caldwell.
Jones was a co-Grand Marshal with Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer for the 2014 Food City 500, which was held on March 16 at Bristol. The track will serve as the host of the Tennessee-Virginia Tech college football game, which has been billed as the Battle at Bristol, on Sept. 10, 2016.
Dillon told reporters he is looking forward to that event.
"First thing I did was look at my calendar and hope I was available. What an amazing atmosphere," Dillon said.
For now, though, the Richard Childress Racing driver is focused on trying to get into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff. He currently is just on the outside of the 16-driver field and is 15th in the point standings. The IRWIN Tools Night Race (Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC) is the third-to-last race of the regular season. Dillon finished 11th at Bristol in the spring and can't wait to get back.
"It's one of my favorite tracks," Dillon said of Bristol. "It's the biggest short track we go to."
Dillon arrived in Knoxville to a big welcome. Below is a look at his day.