Official tools sponsor renews

MADISON, Ill. (May 21, 2003) - Sears, Roebuck and Co., through its Craftsman brand, has renewed its sponsorship as the "Official Tools of NHRA," it was announced today by NHRA and Sears officials during a press conference at Gateway International...

MADISON, Ill. (May 21, 2003) - Sears, Roebuck and Co., through its Craftsman brand, has renewed its sponsorship as the "Official Tools of NHRA," it was announced today by NHRA and Sears officials during a press conference at Gateway International Raceway.

As part of the multi-year exclusive agreement, Craftsman will be the official hand tool, power tool, tool storage equipment, toolbox, and tool headquarters of the NHRA.

In addition, the Sears Craftsman Scholarship program also will continue. The scholarships are fully funded by Sears Craftsman and are administered by NHRA's Youth & Education Services department.

"Craftsman has been part of the growth and success of the NHRA for decades," said Touré Claiborne, Sears motorsports marketing manager. "The NHRA's television package with ESPN, as well as the participation of POWERade as title sponsor of the series will further assist Craftsman in marketing our status as Official Tools of the NHRA to a fan base that best captures the 'do-it-yourself' target audience.

"We'll continue to reach out to NHRA fans and our customers by presenting the annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, working with the NHRA to award 21 Craftsman scholarships each year to deserving young people, and associating directly with the top teams on the track."

The official sponsorship headlines a variety of involvement by Craftsman in NHRA drag racing. In addition to the popular scholarship program, the company is the title sponsor for an NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event at Gateway International Raceway, the Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals (June 27-29) and provides primary sponsorship for the Funny Car driven by Dale Creasy Jr., the Craftsman Pontiac Firebird. In addition, Craftsman serves as an associate sponsor for a variety of NHRA teams, including Warren Johnson, Kurt Johnson and Jim Yates in Pro Stock, Rhonda Hartman-Smith and John Smith in Top Fuel and Geno Scali in Pro Stock Bike competition.

"We are very pleased that Craftsman has decided to renew its official sponsorship program," said Bob Wagner, NHRA vice president of sales and business development. "Their commitment to the NHRA has been extremely valuable over the years and we look forward to building an even more successful relationship in the future. Craftsman has taken full advantage of its official sponsorship in the past and we hope to continue the trend into the future."

Craftsman is the Official Tools of the NHRA and sponsors the annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. According to a 2002 EquiTrend survey, Craftsman is rated the No. 1 brand in the nation among men for overall quality. Sears sells more than 1,600 Craftsman hand tools that are guaranteed forever. If any Craftsman hand tool ever fails to provide complete satisfaction, return for free repair or replacement. Sears offers Craftsman tools, merchandise and related services nationwide through its Full-line stores, Sears Hardware stores, Sears Dealer stores and Orchard Supply Hardware stores, as well as through specialty catalogs and online at www.sears.com.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has 80,000 members nationwide and 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Dale Creasy Jr. , Geno Scali