BUSCH: Ford title sponsor for Championship Weekend

Ford Championship Weekend: Homestead-Miami Speedway and automaker partner to promote NASCAR title races. MIAMI, Florida, September 17, 2002 - It's official - and it's all Ford. Ford will be the official title sponsor of NASCAR's championship...

Ford Championship Weekend: Homestead-Miami Speedway and automaker partner to promote NASCAR title races.

MIAMI, Florida, September 17, 2002 - It's official - and it's all Ford.

Ford will be the official title sponsor of NASCAR's championship weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the next four years, it was announced jointly today by Curtis Gray, president of the speedway, and Francisco Codina, general marketing manager, Ford Division.

Now known as Ford Championship Weekend, the November 14-17, 2002 event will feature the Ford 400, the NASCAR Winston Cup season-finale, the Ford 300, the NASCAR Busch Series season-finale, and the Ford 200, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season-finale.

The races will provide exclamation points to a year in which, for the first time in history, NASCAR's top touring divisions will crown champions on the same weekend at the same venue.

"We're thrilled to partner with Ford for one of the biggest weekends in all of motorsports," said Gray. "With the closest points race ever for the NASCAR Winston Cup currently ongoing, as well as tight points races in the NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, race fans have the unique opportunity to be a part of history this November at the inaugural Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway."

In addition to sponsoring the Championship Weekend and all three races, Ford, with the support of its South Florida Ford Dealers, also acquires Official Vehicle status at the Speedway, including the pace cars for all three races, through 2005.

"The eyes of race fans all over the country will be on Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, and Ford needs to be big here," said Codina. "South Florida is an ideal place to introduce new products, flex our muscle on the track, and make our legions of fans and employees proud that they drive a Ford."

Ford's involvement in Ford Championship Weekend will be evident in a variety of ways. On Sept. 22, Ford will begin promoting Ford Championship Weekend with a pair of television and radio advertisements featuring Winston Cup drivers Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett and Matt Kenseth. The South Florida Ford Dealers will soon follow with an announcement detailing its plans to support the sponsorship in the local market, and Ford will have an extremely visible presence, both on- and off-track, at Homestead-Miami Speedway on race weekend.

"Ford Championship Weekend will certainly be a useful marketing tool for all of the South Florida Dealers," said Victor Benitez of Gus Machado Ford. "Race fans are some of our most loyal customers, and this will be a good way for us to renew our relationships with them."

Among those carrying the Ford banner on the race track that weekend for those legions of Ford fans will be NASCAR drivers Mark Martin (Winston Cup), Greg Biffle (Busch), Jason Keller (Busch), and Terry Cook (Craftsman Truck), who are in the thick of the title chase in each of their respective divisions. Ford is seeking to sweep the drivers' championships in all three divisions for the first time.

Ford Taurus stands atop both the Winston Cup and Busch series in victories, posting ten and 15, respectively, as the Blue Oval charges toward Manufacturers' Championships on each circuit. In the Craftsman Truck series, Ford F-150 has reached victory circle four (4) times thus far as the season heads into the final five (5) races.

"2002 is just the beginning for this program," said Codina. "In 2003, Ford fans all over the country can expect Ford and the Ford Dealers to launch engaging promotions and advertising involving their favorite drivers as they race toward Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway."

Homestead-Miami Speedway is a world-class motorsports facility located just south of Miami in tropical South Florida. The home of Ford Championship Weekend as well as the Grand Prix of Miami featuring Indy Racing and the Rolex Sports Car Series, the Speedway is active more than 230 days per year with multiple forms of racing, testing, track rentals, driving schools, and community events.

Tickets to the inaugural Ford Championship Weekend are available. To order tickets, or for more information, call (305) 230-RACE, log onto homestead-miamispeedway.com or visit any Ticketmaster outlet.


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Drivers Dale Jarrett , Jason Keller , Greg Biffle , Terry Cook , Mark Martin