Eel River Puts Jeff Fuller in Viagra Pontiac

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Eel River puts Fuller in Viagra Pontiac By Dave Rodman CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Dec. 17, 1999) The NASCAR 2000 Raybestos Rookie of the Year race in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, featuring undoubtedly the strongest class of competitors in the ...

Eel River puts Fuller in Viagra Pontiac By Dave Rodman

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Dec. 17, 1999) The NASCAR 2000 Raybestos Rookie of the Year race in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, featuring undoubtedly the strongest class of competitors in the series' history, gained another heavyweight contender Friday. Pfizer Inc., along with Eel River Racing, announced at a news conference at the Hilton University Place, that the company would sponsor Jeff Fuller beginning with the 2000 season driving Eel River's No. 27 Viagra Pontiacs.

Fuller, 42, of Auburn, Mass., will debut the car in Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 12.

The No. 27 Viagra Pontiac is only part of a comprehensive initiative, also announced Friday, linking Pfizer with NASCAR fans to raise awareness of men's health issues throughout the coming year. NASCAR Winston Cup Series stars Rusty Wallace, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin will participate in the "Tune Up for Life" Partnership.

Fuller, the 1995 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Rookie of the Year, joins a field of NASCAR 2000 Raybestos Rookie of the Year contenders that currently includes two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, former Pennzoil World of Outlaws champion Dave Blaney; former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Stacy Compton and Mike Bliss and former sports car champion and CART Fed-Ex Championship driver Scott Pruett.

Fuller, the 1992 champion in the Featherlite Modified Series, NASCAR Touring, will make his NASCAR Winston Cup Series debut in the blue-and-white Grand Prix in the 34-race series. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Fuller, who won his only NASCAR Busch Series victory at Bristol Motor Speedway in his sophomore year in the tour, 1996, won the Featherlite Modified Series' Most Popular Driver award three times and had 31 victories in that series. He competed in the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series driving for team owners Meredith Ruark and Joe Gibbs.

"We hope to turn some heads this year and compete with the other rookies." — Jeff Fuller "This is an unbelievable opportunity," Fuller said. "I'll be competing with the best of the best, and that's every driver's dream. The competition for rookie of the year will be rough, and I hope to be among the front runners."

The team completed a test session Thursday at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla. Fuller said he's settled in well with the team and is confident heading into the heavy January pre-season test period.

"I feel really good about what we have and the direction Eel River Racing is heading," Fuller said. "The mix between Eel River, Pfizer and me is great. We hope to turn some heads this year and compete with the other rookies."

The deal unites Fuller with NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship winning crew chief, Barry Dodson, who won the title with Wallace in 1989.

"I have to say that working with Barry Dodson creates a great situation for me," Fuller said. "The chase for rookie of the year is going to be awfully competitive and I'm glad I have a championship crew chief on my side. I'm glad I'm not competing against him.

"I'm extremely excited to be here today as part of this deal. Our future looks really bright and I can't wait to get into that great looking car. This is my dream come true and I have to thank Pfizer and Eel River Racing for their support."

In addition to the primary announcement, it was revealed that Martin, Wallace and Labonte will participate throughout the upcoming racing season as part of a Men's Health Tune-Up for Life program that is created to help educate men and their partners about common medical conditions.

As part of the Men's Health Tune-Up for Life program, Pfizer will conduct on-location health screenings for men prior to most NASCAR Winston Cup Series races. The Men's Health Tune-Up for Life Trailer, a specially equipped mobile unit, will be at every racing event using questionnaires or simple medical tests to screen for common medical conditions such as high cholesterol, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), depression, hypertension and erectile dysfunction. Educational materials on common health conditions will also be available.

The Men's Health Tune-Up for Life Trailer has the capacity to screen more than 35,000 men during the upcoming racing season.

"Everyone knows my interest in leading a healthy lifestyle," said Martin, a 31-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series winner. "We want our fans to get out there and get screened, and we'll be encouraging them to take advantage of this program. The best part is that Pfizer's involvement will allow for the screenings to be given at no cost to fans."

Pfizer has been a sponsor of NASCAR teams for several years. Through the company's Consumer Health Care Group, Barbasol shaving cream was a primary sponsor of a NASCAR Busch Series team beginning in 1996. In addition, Pfizer's Visine eye care products will be the primary sponsor of a NASCAR Busch Series team fielded by Reiser Enterprises through the 2001 season.

nascar.com

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Series NASCAR-CUP