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Volume 24 No. 115
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          KY-based Valvoline will maintain a "major presence" at
     the Indianapolis 500 on May 25, but the "longtime sponsor
     will not have a red, white and blue car in the starting
     lineup," according to Robin Miller of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR-
     NEWS.  Valvoline Marketing Dir Mark Coughlin: "With all the
     engine problems, it's hard to pick a horse in this race and
     there is really no handicapping them.  I couldn't make a
     recommendation of any team that would have a reasonable
     chance of finishing -- let alone winning."  Valvoline is in
     the final year of its "seven-figure deal" with ABC, and will
     receive 34 TV spots, including 16 during Sunday's race. 
     Valvoline will additionally spend "six figures" at Indy on
     contingency prizes and also supply the "majority" of the
     teams with automotive lubricants (STAR-NEWS, 4/15). 
          AROUND THE TRACK: NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace is
     apologizing for his role "in triggering the dip" in shares
     of Speedway Motorsports after he called for a "total
     reconstruction" of the Texas Motor Speedway during the
     Interstate Batteries 500, according to Liz Clarke of the
     DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  Wallace: "I heard the stock took a
     $10-million plunge over my verbiage of saying it needed a
     major reconstruction, which is not the right thing to say." 
     According to calculations by Breck Wheeler, a stock analyst
     at J.C. Bradford & Co., the value of outstanding shares in
     Speedway Motorsports "actually dropped" $26.3M after the
     race.  Wheeler said it was "unfair to pin the drop on
     Wallace," but added, "I certainly fielded some calls
     relative to people concerned about the track because they
     had read in the sports pages that drivers didn't like it"
     (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/16)....Food Lion, the official
     supermarket of NASCAR, is sponsoring a festival for race
     fans in nine cities on the '97 Winston Cup series.  The Food
     Lion SuperFan Race Festival debuts this month featuring an
     interactive, mini-race festival with race simulators, show
     cars and race-themed exhibits and displays (Food Lion).