Valvoline - 110 years of competition

Valvoline - In it to Win it from the Beginning First Oil of Motorsports Leading the Way After 110 Years of Competition DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 15, 2006)- A Valvoline radio commercial last season used humor to make a valid point about...

Valvoline - In it to Win it from the Beginning
First Oil of Motorsports Leading the Way After 110 Years of Competition

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 15, 2006)- A Valvoline radio commercial last season used humor to make a valid point about racing and sponsorship. While a broadcaster described the action on the race track he refered to each car by its sponsor, the "detergent car" and the "cellular phone car". Then he described the Valvoline car, a sponsor who's products have been used in race cars "since they were racing on sand" at Daytona. The point is that sponsors may come and go in motorsports, but one of the sport's original players continues to not only be on the car but in it. As the first consumer products marketer to not only sponsor but own a NASCAR team, Valvoline brings more to their team than simply sponsor dollars. They build a better performing motor oil, one race at a time.

A rich history of motorsports success and innovation has brought Valvoline from victory lane in the first auto race in North America in 1895, to the formation of Valvoline Evernham Racing 110 years later. Valvoline has been at work inside the best race cars in history, giving them the performance to win NASCAR, Indy Car, and Formula One championships. Since 1866 when Dr. Ellis patented Valvoline, it has served the needs of a nationwide transportation revolution to become one of America's leading motor oils.

In 1959, Valvoline pioneered motorsports sponsorship by sponsoring the National Hot Rod Association U.S. National drag races. In 1963, the Valvoline logo was proudly displayed by the two revolutionary Novi cars in the Indy 500. By 1965, a new product, Valvoline Racing Motor Oil, was introduced and the benefits of innovation through competition came to the forefront as it became the best-selling racing oil of all time.

By 1969, Valvoline was the choice of nearly half the chief mechanics in the Indy 500. Al Unser Sr. gave Valvoline its first Indy 500 victory the next year and in 1972, A.J. Foyt used Valvoline to win the Daytona 500. In 1978, Valvoline went international when Mario Andretti won the Formula One World Championship using Valvoline in his crankcase.

Valvoline pioneered the use of motorsports to support business relationships through product development and testing, and race team sponsorship. On the track, Valvoline was hard at work in the engines of 1980 NHRA Champion Shirley Muldowney, NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Darrell Waltrip in 1982. Valvoline sponsorship continued to grow as well. On the NASCAR circuit, Buddy Baker drove a Valvoline-sponsored car in 1985, and then Neil Bonnett took the reigns in 1987. In 1986, Bobby Rahall won the Indy 500 in a Valvoline-sponsored car. The success continued in 1990, which became a big year when Joe Amato claimed the 1990 NHRA Top Fuel Championship and Al Unser Jr. won the Indy Car Championship as well, both with Valvoline as their primary sponsor. Unser Jr. took the Valvoline sponsorship to victory lane at again at Indy in 1992.

From 1990 to 2000, Valvoline enjoyed a highly successful tenure at Roush Racing with driver Mark Martin visiting victory lane 31 times in Winston Cup competition. By the end of the millennium the Valvoline brand had enjoyed just about every on-track success possible. But they then changed the sponsorship paradigm even further by becoming the first consumer product to own a race team in 2001. Shortly afterward, Johnny Benson took MBV Motorsports to victory lane at North Carolina Speedway in 2002. Valvoline also broke into the realm of track sponsorship by becoming the Official Motor Oil of Daytona International Speedway in 2002, and Bristol Motor Speedway in 2004. Soon the program pegged a young Busch Series standout, Scott Riggs, to drive the Valvoline car in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2004.

In 2006, Valvoline is poised to bring their program to the forefront again as a sponsor of Evernham Motorsports, a proven leader in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Valvoline has continued their team ownership by forming Valvoline Evernham Racing, and bringing Scott Riggs over to continue to drive for Valvoline. Substantial media buys on SPEED Channel, a continuation of track sponsorship, the introduction of the Valvoline Garage at-track display and the new formation of Valvoline Evernham Racing promise to bring the same undisputable at-track success in the future as in the past.

Valvoline Historical Timeline:

1866 First lubricating oil patented ('cylinder' oil)
1895 Valvoline lubricates winner in first auto race in North America (Chicago)
1936 First to switch from glass bottles to metal cans
1939 'X-18,' first all-season, all-purpose gear oil
1940 First to offer unconditional money-back guarantee
1941 "HPO" motor oil for diesels, peak load gas engines
1954 All-Climate oil introduced
1965 Racing Oil introduced and becomes the best-selling racing oil of all time.
1972 A.J. Foyt wins Daytona 500 with Valvoline
1976-78 Cale Yarborough wins three-straight NASCAR Championships with Valvoline
1978 Mario Andretti wins F1 Championship with Valvoline
1980 First to introduce 12-quart case
1982 Darrell Waltrip wins Daytona 500 and NACAR Championship with Valvoline
1985 Buddy Baker drives for Valvoline
1989 Morgan Shepard drives for Valvoline
1990-2000 Mark Martin drives for Valvoline
1990 New Synthetic Racing Oil powers Al Unser Jr. to CART title
1992 Al Unser Jr. Wins Indy 500 with Valvoline
1995 Jeff Gordon wins first NASCAR championship with Valvoline
1996 DuraBlend: First Synthetic Blend introduced
2001 MaxLife: first oil for high-mileage cars. Valvoline becomes first consumer products company to own team
2001-2003 Johnny Benson drives for Valvoline
2002 Valvoline becomes the Official Motor Oil of Daytona
2004 Valvoline becomes the Official Motor Oil of Bristol Motor Speedway, Busch Series star Scott Riggs begins driving for Valvoline
2006 Valvoline moves to Evernham Motorsports and forms Valvoline Evernham Racing, Scott Riggs continues as driver

About Valvoline: Valvoline, a division of Ashland Inc., has been serving American motorists longer than any other motor oil company and is a leading innovator and supplier of quality, high-performing automotive and industrial products in more than 100 countries. Best known for its lubricants, Valvoline also markets Eagle One® appearance products, Car Brite® car restoration products, Zerex® antifreeze, SynPower® performance products, Pyroil® automotive chemicals and MaxLife® products created for higher-mileage engines. Valvoline also has a stake in the quick-lube market with its Valvoline Instant Oil Change unit.

Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) is a Fortune 500 chemical and transportation construction company providing products, services and customer solutions throughout the world. To learn more about Ashland, visit www.ashland.com.

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Series Automotive
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Darrell Waltrip , Shirley Muldowney , Joe Amato , Al Unser Jr. , Bobby Rahal , Johnny Benson , Scott Riggs , Mario Andretti , Al Unser Sr. , Buddy Baker , A.J. Foyt , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin