U.S. Tobacco Will Not Renew with Petree Racing

GREENWICH, Conn., June 30, 1999 - U.S. Tobacco Co. announced today that it will not renew its Skoal Racing team sponsorship of Andy Petree Racing for the year 2000. "This decision was part of a larger discussion in redirecting our marketing ...

GREENWICH, Conn., June 30, 1999 - U.S. Tobacco Co. announced today that it will not renew its Skoal Racing team sponsorship of Andy Petree Racing for the year 2000.

"This decision was part of a larger discussion in redirecting our marketing efforts," said Garnis Hagen, vice president of marketing promotions for U.S. Tobacco Co., which manufactures and markets moist smokeless tobacco products.

"We have certainly enjoyed our relationship with Ken Schrader, Andy Petree and his whole team. Kenny is a terrific representative of the sport. He's a good racer and he's good with people. Andy has shown tremendous potential as a team owner and has a bright future in a sport that continues to grow."

"U.S. Tobacco Co. was one of the best sponsors in NASCAR racing," said Petree, owner of Andy Petree Racing. "I am proud to have been affiliated with them. I have been involved with the Company in some capacity since 1982, with the exception of the three years I was at Richard Childress Racing. I want to thank them for their past support and everything they contributed to our team."

"This difficult decision was made after much deliberation, including consideration of the Company's compliance obligations under the Smokeless Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement signed last year," Hagen continued. "However, we will not forget the loyalty and support that we have garnered among racing fans over the years."

U.S. Tobacco Co. began its association with NASCAR in 1981 with the Skoal Bandit Racing sponsorship of Hal Needham and Burt Reynold's race team with veteran driver Harry Gant.

Hagen concluded, "U.S. Tobacco Co.'s departure as a team sponsor - whose span of 18 consecutive seasons is second only to STP in longevity - marks a change in direction, but not in our Company's belief in the sport of NASCAR and its legions of adult race fans."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader , Andy Petree , Harry Gant