Daytona 500: No. 2 sponsor sets challenge

MILLER BETS ON A WINNER, CHALLENGES BUD IN RACE FOR NASCAR GLORY If Kurt Beats Junior in Season Standings, ...

MILLER BETS ON A WINNER, CHALLENGES BUD IN RACE FOR NASCAR GLORY

If Kurt Beats Junior in Season Standings, #8 Bud Car Must Wear Miller Lite Colors!

MILWAUKEE (February 17, 2006) -- Miller Brewing Company is kicking off a new era in its 35-year history of motorsports sponsorship by boldly declaring its confidence in Kurt Busch's ability to drive the #2 Miller Lite Dodge to victory lane.

Miller's chief marketing officer Tom Long today sent a letter to Anheuser-Busch vice president of brand management Marlene Coulis, betting the beer-market leader that Miller Lite driver Kurt Busch will finish ahead of Budweiser driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the final 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season standings. The terms of the friendly wager: The losing sponsor must change the paint scheme on its car to match the winning brand's car for one Nextel Cup Series points-paying race next year. Budweiser has until the start of Sunday's season-opening race to accept the Miller challenge.

Of course, Miller looks forward to seeing Earnhardt Jr. driving a blue #8 Miller Lite Chevy alongside Kurt's #2 Miller Lite Dodge for one race in 2007.

"We chose Kurt to drive the Miller Lite car because he thrives on competition and has an unrelenting will to win," Long said. "Healthy, fun-spirited competition is the essence of sport and of business; and the Miller versus Bud battle is one great example of this. We both have a great tradition in the sport, and a little added public competition will be fun for everyone, especially the winner."

The winner of NASCAR's inaugural "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" championship in 2004, Kurt is looking forward to taking the checkered flag early and often in his first season behind the wheel of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge.

"This challenge is great for our sport because it will create even more excitement throughout the season for fans of both teams, and I know it will give me and my team added incentive to win," Kurt said. "I hope the guys in St. Louis accept the challenge because everybody loves a spirited rivalry. Whether it's Miller and A-B, or Junior and me, we're going to give the fans something to holler about this season."

Earlier this week, Miller Lite announced that legal-drinking-age consumers can register to win its "When Kurt Wins, You Could Win" sweepstakes online at www.millerbeer.com until 11:59 a.m. (Eastern) Sunday, Feb. 19. If Busch takes the checkered flag in Daytona Beach, then 500 randomly selected registered fans will win a year's supply of Miller Lite. (See the official contest rules online.)

About Miller Brewing Company:

Milwaukee-based Miller Brewing Company is the oldest major brewer in America, having celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2005. Miller is a wholly owned subsidiary of SABMiller plc, one of the world's largest brewers. Miller's principal beer brands are Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft and Miller High Life. The company imports Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Foster's and has craft brews Leinenkugel's and Henry Weinhard's. Its portfolio of brands also includes Milwaukee's Best Light and Sharp's, a non-alcohol brew. Miller produces Icehouse from the Plank Road Brewery, a small division of Miller; Olde English 800; and Mickey's Malt Liquor. More information about Miller Brewing Company is available at the company's corporate web site, www.MillerBrewing.com.

-miller-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Kurt Busch , Tom Long