Cooper Tire 2009 season preview

Cooper Tire Launches into Third Season as Presenting Sponsor of North American Open-Wheel Racing Series; Overall prize money purse almost doubled including Cooper Tires Pole Award FINDLAY, OHIO, MARCH 20, 2009 -- COOPER TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY...

Cooper Tire Launches into Third Season as Presenting Sponsor of North American Open-Wheel Racing Series; Overall prize money purse almost doubled including Cooper Tires Pole Award

FINDLAY, OHIO, MARCH 20, 2009 -- COOPER TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY (NYSE: CTB) -- The 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda waves the green flag for the first time this weekend at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., with more prize money at stake than ever before.

"Cooper Tire's partnership with The Atlantic Championship continues to pay tremendous dividends," said Chris Pantani, Director of Motorsport and Event Marketing for Cooper Tire. "Our involvement provides a great research and development environment, as well as marketing opportunities. It also provides an excellent platform for Cooper to showcase its ultra-high performance racing products and technological capabilities to enthusiasts throughout the race season."

The 12-race series runs through October 11 with a total purse of $3 million including the Cooper Tires Pole Award for the fastest qualifier at each race. Last year's total purse was approximately $1.6 million.

Since Cooper Tire's involvement started in 2007, track records have fallen at an astonishing pace thanks to the performance-driven, Cooper-Atlantic racing tire and the technical skills displayed by a talented field of drivers. In 2007, 15 records were either established or broken, followed by 14 record altering performances in 2008 at various race tracks throughout the U.S. and Canada.

"To break or establish 29 records in just a two-year period is a feat we're incredibly proud of," said Pantani. "In a competition where a hundredth-second can win or lose the race, drivers know they can trust the Cooper-Atlantic racing tire to perform."

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is a global company that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of passenger car and light truck tires and subsidiaries that specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. With headquarters in Findlay, Ohio, Cooper Tire has manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its family of companies located in 10 countries around the world. For more information, visit Cooper Tire's web site at: www.coopertire.com.

-credit: coopertire.com

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Series Atlantic