Series sponsor news 2009-07-15

Big Green Egg Joins Atlantic Championship as "Official Tailgating Barbecue" BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 14, 2009) - The smell of perfectly grilled meats and vegetables and even baked goods figures to become more prevalent in the Cooper Tires Presents...

Big Green Egg Joins Atlantic Championship as "Official Tailgating Barbecue"

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 14, 2009) - The smell of perfectly grilled meats and vegetables and even baked goods figures to become more prevalent in the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda paddock in the near future as series officials today announced that Big Green Egg, the World's Best Smoker and Grill, has joined forces with the Atlantic Championship as the Official Tailgating Barbecue.

The Atlanta-based Big Green Egg Company -- which manufactures the unique barbecue product that can be used as a grill, smoker or oven -- will be an official partner of the Atlantic Championship through the end of the 2009 season, with an option to return to the series in the future. The partnership calls for the Atlantic Championship and each team competing in the 2009 series to receive one Big Green Egg cooker, and all Atlantic racecars will carry Big Green Egg decals. The Big Green Egg will also be front and center at a pair of Atlantic Championship race-weekend parties, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course next month and at Road Atlanta in September.

"There probably isn't a sport more conducive to tailgating than road racing, so this partnership with Big Green Egg is a natural fit," said Atlantic Championship president Ben Johnston. "For a number of years, I've known that there's no better way to prepare food outdoors than by using the Big Green Egg and I consider myself an avid ‘EGGhead.' We're looking forward to exposing the Big Green Egg to the Atlantic community and thousands of race fans through this partnership."

Some of the many benefits of the Big Green Egg include the fact that it is ready to cook in 10 minutes with no lighter fluid, its ceramic walls retain heat with accurate temperature control and no "hot spots," there is no need to add more charcoal while cooking and unburned charcoal may be reused, its enclosed design means constant tending is not required and it withstands temperature extremes from below zero to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The Big Green Egg is offered in five different sizes for enthusiastic outdoor chefs, whether novice or master barbecuer.

"There is a special camaraderie among devotees of the EGG which is very similar to the sense of community among racing tailgaters," said Big Green Egg marketing manager Jodi Burson. "We believe that this is a perfect partnership that brings together two groups of very passionate fans."

Next up for the Atlantic Championship is Round 5 of the 12-race 2009 season at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. on Saturday, July 18 as part of the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix weekend. Simona De Silvestro leads the championship standings by eight points, 68-60, over Jonathan Summerton.

About Big Green Egg
Big Green Egg Company®, headquartered in Tucker, Georgia, is the world's largest producer and international distributor of ceramic kamado-style cookers. Founded in 1974 by Ed Fisher, the company has an impeccable reputation for offering top quality products and excellent customer service. The Big Green Egg has undergone many improvements since it was introduced, but especially significant is replacement of the clay used in early models with durable space-age ceramics developed specifically to make the EGG® virtually indestructible under ordinary cooking conditions. The EGG offers unmatched cooking flexibility and capabilities that surpass all other conventional cookers combined. It is a smoker, a grill and an oven and you can cook literally any food in it year around. Five sizes of the EGG and an extensive line of EGGcessories™ are available in barbecue and hearth specialty stores, pool and patio shops and select hardware and garden/nursery outlets. For more information or to find a retailer near you visit www.biggreenegg.com.

About The Atlantic Championship
The Atlantic Championship is in its 36th year of competition in 2009 and is noted for its long history of graduating its drivers into the top levels of motorsport throughout the world. Graduates include past and present IndyCar drivers such as Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Danica Patrick, Dan Wheldon, Graham Rahal and Raphael Matos, Formula One legends and champions such as Gilles Villeneuve, Jacques Villeneuve and Keke Rosberg, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Sam Hornish Jr. and A.J. Allmendinger and sports car stars like Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney, Michael Valiante, Luis Diaz, Joey Hand and Simon Pagenaud.

Atlantic Championship graduates have won races and championships at the highest levels of motorsport, including Formula 1, IndyCar and Champ Car, and sports cars. In 2009, Atlantic graduates will again be top competitors in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, the American Le Mans Series, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and even the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series among many others. Learn more about Atlantic at www.atlantic-championship.com.

-credit: ac

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Alex Gurney , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Jon Fogarty , Graham Rahal , Michael Valiante , Joey Hand , Luis Diaz , Dan Wheldon , Danny Sullivan , A.J. Allmendinger , Keke Rosberg , Ben Johnston , Simon Pagenaud , Sam Hornish Jr. , Danica Patrick