JEFF GORDON PLUGS PEPSI IN VICTORY LANE OF COCA-COLA 600
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).