The Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities Board of Trustees today announced the establishment of the Jeff Byrd Grant, in honor of the long-time Bristol Motor Speedway president and general manager who passed away Oct. 17, 2010.

The $50,000 grant, which will be awarded each year, is one of the single largest grants presented to a non-profit organization in the region.

Claudia Byrd, Executive Director of the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities and Jeff Byrd’s wife of 36 years, feels this grant embodies her husband’s ceaseless devotion to helping those less fortunate, particularly children.

“Jeff was a very special man who loved children and who was dedicated to improving the lives of those who needed it most,” said Claudia Byrd. “And he lived by a very simple, yet world-changing mantra ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’

“I couldn’t be more pleased or proud that our trustees wanted to honor Jeff by acting on those words and giving a substantial gift to an agency which will pay it forward to the children they serve.”

The Jeff Byrd Grant will be given to one organization each year with the first one slated to be announced Nov. 17, 2011 at the annual Night of Smiles, during which the Bristol Chapter of SCC awards grants to agencies serving children in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. To date, the Bristol Chapter of SCC has raised in excess of $6.5 million for agencies in this area.

The Jeff Byrd Grant will be awarded to a non-profit children’s organization in the 16-county area surrounding Bristol Motor Speedway. Those counties are Carter, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington in Tennessee and Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise in Virginia.

Applications for the Jeff Byrd Grant are being accepted now through Sept. 15, 2011 and can be found at For further information, please contact the Speedway Children’s Charities office at 423-989-6974.