NHRA statement on RJ Reynolds annoucement

GLENDORA, Calif. (July 17, 2001) - NHRA President Tom Compton addresses the recent announcement from RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company concerning their future in NHRA Drag Racing: "The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is appreciative of ...

GLENDORA, Calif. (July 17, 2001) - NHRA President Tom Compton addresses the recent announcement from RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company concerning their future in NHRA Drag Racing:

"The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is appreciative of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company and the Winston brand for their dedication and commitment to the sport of NHRA Drag Racing over the last 27 years.

"The announcement that RJR has elected to continue sponsorship of NASCAR in 2002 came as no surprise to NHRA. We have been in constant contact with Rick Sanders, president, Sports Marketing Enterprises (SME), the sports marketing division of RJR, throughout the entire process. RJR's decision is a direct result of the Master Settlement Agreement entered into with the states' attorneys general, limiting cigarette manufacturers to one brand-name sponsorship each year.

"We continue to talk with RJR and are confident that they will remain, in some capacity, in our sport, recognizing that NHRA Drag Racing offers one of the best sponsor values in all of motorsports.

"NHRA has been aggressively working with a number of major companies in the United States that see the tremendous value of serving as series sponsor of NHRA Drag Racing. In our search, we are adamant that our new partner maintain and, more importantly, build upon the momentum the sport currently enjoys. Our top priority is to enter into a long-term relationship with the right sponsor committed to making the investment the sport warrants.

"We have seen tremendous interest from a number of companies regarding our series and each opportunity represents a significant step forward for the sport. NHRA's goal is to make an announcement in the very near future."

-NHRA

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