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JEFF GORDON PLUGS PEPSI IN VICTORY LANE OF COCA-COLA 600
Published May 27, 1998
Jeff Gordon's victory at the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday "certainly wasn't the most popular of all possible outcomes for Coca-Cola," according to David Poole of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Gordon, who once endorsed Coke but went to Pepsi before last season, "was careful to have" a Pepsi in-hand when he climbed from his car in Victory Lane, which was adorned with Coke bottles (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/25). Around 175,000 people attended the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 5/26). REAL-TIME: For this weekend's races, Goodyear launched a new ad campaign as it videotaped two demos of a Chevrolet Corvette pace car with Goodyear Eagle tires running over nails at the IMS and the Charlotte Motor Speedway, before completing a full lap around the tracks without air in the tires. The videotape was taken before the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600, then edited and shown during the respective broadcasts. Goodyear called the spots the "nearest thing to real-time, you-are-there productions that it has ever done to promote a new product" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 5/23). RACING NOTES: Best Western was named the official hotel of the IRL Pep Boys Series. As part of the deal, the IRL Gold Crown Club will award frequent traveler points to IRL fans for every lodging dollar spent at any Best Western. Accumulated points may be redeemed for a variety of awards, including retail gift certificates, travel vouchers and IRL merchandise (Best Western)....The Indy 500 was won by Eddie Cheever, who recently signed a team sponsorship deal with MN-based Rachel's Potato Chips. The company will pay about 40% of the $1.5M it cost to run in the Indy 500 (Tarik El- Bashir, N.Y. TIMES, 5/27).....IRL sponsor Reebok made a "quick and temporary move" to appear at this weekend's Indy 500, after driver Eliseo Salazar was bumped from the field. Reebok's logo instead appeared on the side of Davey Hamilton's car (Holly Cain, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/24).