Pit Crew award sponsor announced

Full Throttle becomes "Official Energy Drink" of the NHRA Two-Year Sponsorship includes Season-long Full Throttle NHRA Pit Crew Championship GLENDORA, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2005) -- The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and Coca-Cola North...

Full Throttle becomes "Official Energy Drink" of the NHRA
Two-Year Sponsorship includes Season-long Full Throttle NHRA Pit Crew Championship

GLENDORA, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2005) -- The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and Coca-Cola North America today named Full Throttle energy drink as an official sponsor. Full Throttle will serve as "Official Energy Drink of the NHRA," in addition to introducing a new awards program to reward and recognize NHRA pit crews in each of the four POWERade racing classes -- Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

"Full Throttle packs the raw energy and power of a top fuel dragster and I can't think of a more natural partner for our brand," said Rafael Acevedo, brand manager, Sports and Energy Drinks, Coca-Cola North America. "The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series epitomizes what it's like to go 'Full Throttle.'"

Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship

The Full Throttle NHRA Pit Crew Championship will offer prize money in excess of $250,000 during the 2005 season, making it one of the largest monetary award programs in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and the first season points championship for NHRA's professional pit crew members.

Based on a points system, the program will award event payouts to the team in each class with the top-performing pit crew. In addition, results will be tabulated throughout the season to determine a championship crew in each class, which will earn a sizeable year-end bonus.

"Coca-Cola North America's decision to utilize NHRA POWERade Drag Racing as a platform to assist in the launch of the Full Throttle brand speaks volumes to the return on investment and value synonymous with the sport," said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. "Full Throttle's sponsorship will have an immediate impact on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, beginning with the launch of a two year-long program to reward some of the unsung heroes in our sport."

"The crew plays such a vital role on the race teams, and The Full Throttle NHRA Pit Crew Championship bonus program is designed to not only offer crew members a monetary incentive, but also the exposure and recognition they deserve," said Acevedo.

The points system used to determine event winners, as well as the year-end champion, will feature a simple formula, which will reward teams for performance and consistency during qualifying runs, while deducting points for quarter-mile passes that result in oil on the race track. In order to be eligible each event teams must complete four qualifying runs, unless weather or other circumstances shorten qualifying. The formula will be based on the following:

Ø Average elapsed time during qualifying -- The team with the top average elapsed time will receive 16 points, descending to one point for the 16th place team.

Ø Consistency during qualifying -- The variance between qualifying runs will be measured to showcase consistency, with points again awarded from 16 to one.

Ø Final qualifying position -- The top qualifier will receive 16 points, descending to one point for the 16th place team.

Ø Oildowns -- A 10-point deduction will be levied for each oildown incident.

Note: The crew with the highest cumulative score at season's end will win the annual championship.

About Full Throttle

Best described as "16 ounces of citrus-flavored fury in a can," Full Throttle is packed with the fuel energy drink lovers crave, including ginseng extract, caffeine, taurine, guarana extract and B-vitamins. Full Throttle can be found primarily at convenience stores, with additional availability in other retail locations. Packaged in a 16-ounce black can -- featuring an intense red, yellow and gray logo with protruding flames -- Full Throttle stands out on store shelves and at the race track.

Full Throttle joins a roster of products from Coca-Cola North America in providing refreshment to NHRA race fans, including Coca-Cola classic, "Official Soft Drink of the NHRA," DASANI, "Official Bottled Water of the NHRA" and POWERade, "Official Sports Drink of the NHRA," as well as title sponsor of the sanctioning body's national event series, which will enter its 54th year in 2005.

About the NHRA

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. In 2005, NHRA will present 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has more than 80,000 members nationwide and more than 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 Sportsman Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA Castrol GTX Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's best-known brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five soft drink brands, including diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports drinks. Through the world's largest distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1 billion servings each day.

For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at www.coca-cola.com.

-nhra-

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