DETROIT (December 22, 1998) - Pontiac-GMC Motorsports Manager Fred Simmonds is proud to announce that Pontiac has renewed its position as the Official Car of the National Hot Rod Association with a multi-year deal that will keep the Detroit automobile manufacturer at the forefront of competitive motorsports. In making the announcement, Simmonds also confirmed that GMC will continue as the Official Truck of the NHRA and that Pontiac will once again be the title-rights sponsor for the 35th Annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Pontiac has been a part of the spring classic at National Trail Raceway since 1996. "When you think of performance and excitement, you think of NHRA Drag Racing," said Simmonds. "There is no better series in auto racing to showcase the performance of the Pontiac Firebird, and it is only natural that we remain closely affiliated with this first-class motorsports organization. "Our focus in 1999 will be to win more races, more professional championships and another Manufacturer's Cup. The team we have assembled is more than capable of accomplishing these goals." Since becoming the Official Car of the NHRA in 1996, championships and national records on the 22-event Winston Drag Racing tour have become a common theme for Pontiac. In 1998, Pontiac won the NHRA Manufacturer's Cup for the third consecutive year compiling 27 national event victories in 50 final rounds and 35 No. 1 qualifying positions. Warren Johnson won his fourth Winston Pro Stock championship driving a Firebird, and the Sportsman racers added another 28 national event victories reaffirming Pontiac's position as the premier automobile manufacturer in the series. In September, Car Craft magazine named Pontiac the Automobile Manufacturer of the Year. As the Official Car of the NHRA, Pontiac provides support vehicles for administrative and on-site personnel of the NHRA. As the Official Truck of the NHRA, GMC also provides support vehicles for NHRA staff and GMC Sierras for the Safety Safari which allows them to perform their essential duties.