BUSCH: SKI Motorsports announce 2006 plans

SKI MOTORSPORTS & SMITH & WESSON ANNOUNCE RACING PLANS FOR 2006 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES SEASON SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Jan. 20, 2005) -- Smith & Wesson Corp. [AMEX:SWB], the legendary, 154-year-old global provider of products and services for safety, ...

SKI MOTORSPORTS & SMITH & WESSON ANNOUNCE RACING PLANS FOR 2006 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES SEASON

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Jan. 20, 2005) -- Smith & Wesson Corp. [AMEX:SWB], the legendary, 154-year-old global provider of products and services for safety, security, protection and sport, will embark on its second season of NASCAR Busch Series competition with veteran driver Mike Bliss piloting the #30 Smith & Wesson/SKI Motorsports Chevrolet at four events in 2006.

Bliss, one of three NASCAR veterans to drive the Smith & Wesson Racing machine during its inaugural, eight-race season with the SKI Motorsports team in 2005, will take to the track for the May 12 event at Darlington Raceway, followed by races at Indianapolis Raceway Park (Aug. 5), California Speedway (Sept. 2) and Kansas Speedway (Sept. 30).

"I'm thrilled at the chance to move forward on the racetrack with one of America's most recognized brand names," said Bliss, who in his only 2005 Busch series start -- last July at Daytona -- was on his way to a potential top-10 finish in the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet before getting caught up in a multi-car accident just 1-1/2 laps from the finish. "We'll have four more chances in '06 to try and build on that almost magical night at Daytona, and hopefully we'll be able to finish the job. It's a solid program to be a part of, both on and off the track, and I feel fortunate to be the driver."

Bliss, the 2002 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, shared time in the #30 Chevrolet with fellow veterans Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Scott Riggs in 2005. Hornaday capped the season with a top-12 qualifying run on the mile oval at Phoenix. Riggs scored its season-high finish of 21st at Las Vegas.

"We're pleased to have Mike on board with us for '06," said Tom Taylor,

S&W's VP Marketing. "He certainly gave us all a thrill last July at Daytona. We're hoping for more of the same as we continue to market Smith & Wesson products to race fans, including exciting new products like the M&P pistol and rifle family."

"Off the racetrack, I can't say how proud we are of the kind of results we were able to help Smith & Wesson generate in our very first season together," said Chris Lencheski, president of SKI Motorsports and its parent SKI & Company agency, which executes and coordinates the Smith & Wesson Racing marketing program and promotional effort.

"On the track, as a part-time team in NASCAR, we're up against one of the most challenging feats in all of sports each time we show up for a race. Our team has a long-range plan that we hope will see us racing on a full-time basis and will likely include some additional races this year, as well. For now, we look to our second season as another key building block to lead us to that end. With Mike Bliss in the driver's seat, and our marketing and promotional machine poised to help elevate the Smith & Wesson brand among NASCAR followers everywhere, we're looking for more good things to come."

-ski-

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr. , Scott Riggs , Mike Bliss