BUSCH: Atlanta race dedicated to Benny Parsons

NICORETTE 300 BUSCH SERIES RACE DEDICATED IN MEMORY OF "BP" Parsons' Brother Phil Parsons To Serve As Grand Marshal Pittsburgh, PA (February 28, 2006) -- The Nicorette 300 Busch Series Race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 17th...

NICORETTE 300 BUSCH SERIES RACE DEDICATED IN MEMORY OF "BP"

Parsons' Brother Phil Parsons To Serve As Grand Marshal

Pittsburgh, PA (February 28, 2006) -- The Nicorette 300 Busch Series Race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 17th will be dedicated in memory of NASCAR legend Benny Parsons (1941-2007). In celebration of "BP", the Parsons family will be honored and recognized as Grand Marshals of the Nicorette 300. Parsons' brother, Phil Parsons, a former Cup driver and current Speed TV broadcaster will represent the family at the race serving as Grand Marshal.

In 2006, Benny Parsons was one of six NASCAR legends to serve as Grand Marshals of the Nicorette 300 alongside Richard Petty, David Pearson, Ned Jarrett, Buddy Baker, and Donnie Allison. Parsons, a supporter of Nicorette's NASCAR smoking cessation programs, was a former smoker himself and had recently accepted an invitation by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare to serve as Grand Marshal for the 2007 Nicorette 300. The Nicorette 300 is the only NASCAR race to ever be sponsored by a smoking cessation product.

"Like his other fans, we at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare were deeply saddened by the loss of Benny Parsons," said Steve Kapur, Senior Brand Manager, Promotional Marketing at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. "In our three years in the sport, we have proudly coached thousands of race fans on how to quit smoking at our Winner's Circle Exhibit and helped over 185 NASCAR team members, officials and media quit smoking through our QUIT Crew program. We are honored to dedicate this year's Nicorette 300 in Benny's memory and welcome his brother, Phil Parsons to help start the race."

To honor Parsons' life, fans attending the Nicorette 300 will take part in a"Celebration of BP" during pre-race ceremonies. NEXTEL Vision will air a special video montage featuring highlights from Parson's racing and broadcasting career as well as memories from many of his friends within NASCAR. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Truck Series racecars will carry a special "BP-72" contingency sticker throughout the Nicorette 300 weekend to remember Parsons and his car number "72."

"Benny understood the dangers of smoking having quit cold turkey over 30 years ago and his support of Nicorette inspired NASCAR fans to quit smoking." said Phil Parsons, Benny Parsons' brother and this year's 2007 Nicorette 300 Grand Marshal. "I am honored to have the opportunity to represent Benny and all that he stood for with Nicorette."

Parsons was the 1973 NASCAR Champion and recorded 21 victories, including the 1975 Daytona 500 and the 1980 Coca-Cola 600, in a 21-year career that included 283 top-10 finishes in 526 starts. He later became a popular figure on NASCAR telecasts, first with ESPN and most recently with NBC and TNT. Parsons also hosted Performance Racing Network's "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons."

Phil Parsons has had a distinguished career in racing and now in broadcasting. He raced for 13 years in the Cup Series and is currently a commentator on Speed TV where he will broadcast the Craftsman Truck Series race the Friday night prior to the Nicorette 300.

"It's fitting for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare to dedicate the Nicorette 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Benny's memory," said Ed Clark, President and General Manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway. "Benny had a tremendous impact on the sport and supported Nicorette's efforts to help fans lead healthier lives. We will truly have a memorable race weekend in March."

-credit: pm/gsk

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Ned Jarrett , Richard Petty , Benny Parsons , Phil Parsons , Donnie Allison , Buddy Baker , David Pearson