Evernham announces new partnership sponsor

VALVOLINE EVERNHAM RACING ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO CAMPAIGN THIRD TEAM FOR 2006 New Team to Be "Well-Oiled Machine" with Primary Sponsorship from Valvoline STATESVILLE, NC (July 1, 2005) -- Evernham Motorsports today announced that it has ...

VALVOLINE EVERNHAM RACING ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO CAMPAIGN THIRD TEAM FOR 2006

New Team to Be "Well-Oiled Machine" with Primary Sponsorship from Valvoline

STATESVILLE, NC (July 1, 2005) -- Evernham Motorsports today announced that it has agreed in principle to form a partnership with Valvoline to create Valvoline Evernham Racing LLC, which will campaign the No. 10 Valvoline Dodge Charger for the 2006 season.

Under the arrangement, Valvoline will be the primary sponsor on the No. 10 Valvoline Dodge Charger for a majority of the races and will be a major associate sponsor on the No. 10 Dodge Charger for the remaining races in the season. A driver and crew chief for the team will be announced at a later date. Much of the team personnel will transfer to the No. 10 team from Evernham Motorsports' No. 91 team.

"This is the next step in our quest for a championship," said Ray Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports. "In today's competitive environment, you need a multiple-car team to win races and championships. When you have more race teams, it speeds your development and learning tremendously. With this expansion, we can compete more effectively against other multiple-car organizations.

"Having Valvoline as a partner -- not just a sponsor -- makes this an incredible program," Evernham said. "They have been a tremendous supporter of mine for many years, and our relationship has now grown into joint ownership of a team. Valvoline has a great history in this sport, and a deep understanding of what it takes to be successful. I look forward to winning championships with them."

The third team will be housed out of the new third facility at Evernham Motorsports headquarters in Statesville, NC. It will lease engines and shop space from Evernham Motorsports and have full access to Evernham R&D.

The team expansion allows Evernham Motorsports to continue to grow and advance its operations. The expanded stable also allows Evernham Motorsports to accelerate its R&D efforts, increase its test dates, enhance its ability to collect and analyze data, and make improvements more quickly and efficiently.

"This is a new era in Valvoline's long racing tradition," said Valvoline Designated Team Owner Jim Rocco. "As is the case with our current team, Valvoline will leave the running of the team -- the competition, personnel, equipment -- to our partner," he said. "Valvoline's expertise is marketing and we will continue to make our NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racing effort serve the needs of our family of brands which include: Valvoline, Eagle One and Zerex."

Valvoline's relationship with Ray Evernham goes back to 1994 when they became an associate sponsor with Hendrick Motorsports and Evernham was crew chief for young Jeff Gordon. Valvoline came aboard as both associate sponsor and technical partner with Evernham Motorsports for its first season in 2001 and has been with them ever since. Valvoline technical personnel have worked with Evernham Motorsports' engine program for the past five years on a variety of issues relating to lubrication and cooling.

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.

About Evernham Motorsports:

Evernham Motorsports is a leading team in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Founded by CEO Ray Evernham in 2000, the team is in its fifth season of competition at the highest level of NASCAR racing; with drivers Jeremy Mayfield in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, Kasey Kahne in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, and Bill Elliott in the No. 91 Stanley Tools Dodge Charger. For more information on Evernham Motorsports, visit www.evernhammotorsports.com.

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Series NASCAR-CUP