BUSCH: Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday notes

HAMPTON, Ga (March 18, 2006) -- NICORETTE RAMPS UP STOP-SMOKING PROGRAM: On the morning of their first title sponsorship of a NASCAR event, the first in the sport's history for a smoking cessation product, Nicorette officials unveiled an increased...

HAMPTON, Ga (March 18, 2006) -- NICORETTE RAMPS UP STOP-SMOKING PROGRAM: On the morning of their first title sponsorship of a NASCAR event, the first in the sport's history for a smoking cessation product, Nicorette officials unveiled an increased program for fans, teams, media and NASCAR officials. Today's Nicorette 300 will take the green flag at 3:30 p.m.

Nicorette already has an exhibit in the display lot at NASCAR races, but they have added a new interactive component called the "Quit Box", which will be stocked with information and devices designed to demonstrate to fan the damaging effects smoking has on our health. The quit box will include a spyrometer to gauge lung capacity, carbon monoxide testing and an age progression analysis.

Nicorette has also designed a program called the "Quit Crew", which is helping NASCAR teams and officials to stop smoking. They did a test program last season with Chip Ganassi Racing, helping 14 team members quit smoking.

"I think this is a great program, and I hope it can have some effect on some people ... hopefully many," said two-time NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett, who along with five other NASCAR legends will serve as Grand Marshal for today's Nicorette 300 Busch Series race. "I smoked a little bit when I was a teen, but I saw the light and quit. I thank God every day that I did. I'm still around at 73."

Jarrett will team up with fellow NASCAR greats Donnie Allison, Buddy Baker, Benny Parson, David Pearson and Richard Petty to kick off today's Nicorette 300.

"I hope these guys will serve as an inspiration to the young men racing today and to NASCAR fans interested in quitting smoking," said Steve Kapur, Senior Brand Manager for GlaxoSmithKline.

During Saturday's press conference, the six NASCAR legends assembled quickly turned the event into a fascinating storytelling session. Among the most interesting tidbits:

(Ned Jarrett on the car of tomorrow): It's a good thing. NASCAR's let these cars get too aerodynamic.

(Richard Petty on the car of tomorrow being phased in slowly): You got a truck or a car or box, it don't matter, as long as you all got the same thing. That's a dumb way of doing things. It's cheaper on us if NASCAR does it the way they're supposed to, all of us getting the car at the same time and racing in. It's a no-brainer if you do it the right way. I'm afraid NASCAR's not gonna do it the right way.

(Benny Parsons on the car of tomorrow): I was just talking to Ed Clark a minute ago, and if NASCAR could just slow these cars down 6-10 mph like the trucks last night, the racing here would be better. Changing the cars is the way to go.

(David Pearson on driving today): I couldn't drive the car today. I gotta have air around me. I couldn't sit there and drive and expect a guy in the grandstands to tell me if someone's coming up beside me. (On smoking) I smoked more than anybody when I was racing. When they'd throw the caution, I'd push that lighter in. I was about the only one who had that in the car I think. But I quit 15-16 years ago now.

(Donnie Allison on driving today): I couldn't drive the car if my head touched anything. I'd like to look over to Richard and give him a finger every once in a while. David, you had to give him the finger out the windshield most of the time.

(Buddy Baker on Donnie's hand signals): In Daytona one time I took the lead and he came down on me -- he said I came up, but whatever -- and I didn't know a man could drive without either hand. He wanted to make sure I saw him giving me the "You're No. 1". Then I let him get back in his position because what I did was kind of mean, and he spun around and pointed again just to make sure I got the message. (On quitting smoking) Most of the people here on this panel smoked. I quit, and it's one of the biggest achievements in my life. It's pretty nasty really. It's nice to have Nicorette involved in the race.

-ams

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Ned Jarrett , Richard Petty , Benny Parsons , Chip Ganassi , Donnie Allison , Buddy Baker , David Pearson
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing