All-Star Week Set

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Nextel Communications Inc., Lowe's Motor Speedway, NASCAR and the North Carolina Local Organizing Committee today announced the events taking place during the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, the week of May 21 in Charlotte, N.C. The NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge, the first event of its kind to be officially sanctioned by NASCAR, the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Trophy Tour and more ways for fans to vote in the Nextel All-Star Challenge Sweepstakes have all been added to the 2005 agenda in a collaborative effort by these parties to create a one-of-a-kind all-star experience.

"The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge allows us to create unique events to support this winners-only race," said Mark Schweitzer, senior vice president of marketing at Nextel. "As our signature event, we put an enormous amount of thought behind finding new ways to bring race fans closer to their favorite sport, drivers and teams and this year's event is sure to be a crowd pleaser."

The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge is the marquee event of the week and is a race between drivers who have won a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points race in the 2004 or 2005 seasons, as well as previous event champions who remain active in the series. The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge activities will include:

NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Motorola
The first NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge presented by Motorola will take place at 7:00 p.m., on Thursday, May 19, at the Charlotte Coliseum. The only event of its kind officially sanctioned by NASCAR, this inaugural contest will pit the nation’s favorite over-the-wall athletes against each other in seven head-to-head skills competitions designed to showcase the talents of NASCAR’s top crew members and identify the top pit crew specialists and overall pit crew. Components of the competition include individual and team contests for tire men, gas men and jack men, and the winners will earn more than $200,000 in guaranteed cash and prizes.

"The NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge is one of the many ways that Nextel is helping to raise the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge to the next level," said Mark Schweitzer, senior vice president of marketing for Nextel Communications. "We are excited to recognize the incredible contributions of these crew members with a unique event for the fans and the motorsports industry. We are also appreciative of the North Carolina Local Organizing Committee and our partners at Motorola for their efforts in putting this event together."

Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition, NASCAR, and former crew chief, is also excited about this event. "I know first-hand how hard the crew works in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition," he said. "It's great that NASCAR and Nextel could come together to honor the crews who are truly the foundation of our exciting sport."

Fans from across the country will be able to see some of their favorite teams in action as the NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge presented by Motorola will be made into a one-hour show to air on FX leading into the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on May 21. This event will also be broadcast on MRN radio.

"Motorola is proud to partner with Nextel in this unique event to recognize the individuals who are the backbone of NASCAR teams on race day, said Peter Aloumanis, director, U.S. Markets Division, Motorola's iDEN(r) Devices. "The relationship between the pit crews and the drivers is similar to that between Motorola and Nextel, in that success depends on teamwork, quality of work, constant innovation, beating the competition, and speed - all part of getting the job done."

Tickets for the event are available for $10; children under 12 will be admitted free. Tickets for the NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge can be purchased through Ticketmaster, Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office, at each stop of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Trophy Tour or by calling (704) 455-FANS. At the event, charitable contributions can be made to NASCAR Day, a celebration of NASCAR spirit that benefits Victory Junction Gang Camp, Speediatrics and Speedway Children's Charities.

Eligible Teams:
All teams eligible for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge can participate in the competition. The event is not mandatory. Expected participants include the 18 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams currently qualified for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. Six (6) members of each team are allowed to compete.

The Competition:

  • Round One: Chosen by a random drawing, all teams compete, two teams at a time, against the clock in the individual skills/team competition, with the eight (8) fastest teams progressing to Round Two as determined by overall team time.

    In this first head-to-head round, special attention is paid to each crew member's task, with an individual championship at stake and a cash incentive to clock the quickest time. The fastest crew member at each station will be crowned as the individual champions in the following categories: front tire changer and carrier, rear tire changer and carrier, jack man and gas man. Each of the championship crew members will receive a $10,000 cash prize for excellence at their station.

  • Round Two: Quarterfinals – The competition continues with the team challenge, with the eight (8) fastest teams (total team time) from Round One, seeded by Round One overall team time.

  • Round Three: Semifinals – The competition changes, with the fastest four (4) teams competing in a standard four-tire NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series pit stop.

  • Round Four: Finals – The fastest winning teams from Round Three compete in a standard four-tire NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition pit stop with the fastest of the two crowned as the inaugural NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge champion.

    Rounds One and Two Format Details:
    The individual skills stations in these two rounds are actually pit boxes with a full size NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series car. The four cars and pit boxes will be set up specifically for the front tire changer and carrier, rear tire changer and carrier, jack man, and gas man. All team members will begin simultaneously at the sound of a starter's pistol. They will hit a stop button positioned on pit wall as they leave their respective pit box, creating their individual split time.

  • Front Tire Changer and Front Tire Carrier Pit Box – In this box, changers and carriers will work together to simulate race-day conditions. Just like a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event, the front tire changer and carriers will start from outside the pit box, attacking the right side of the car first, then moving onto the left. The second tire will be pre-positioned at the pit wall. Competitors will use their own air guns, and a five (5) second time penalty will be administered for any lugs not passing a 20 lb "torque" test.

  • Rear Tire Changer and Rear Tire Carrier Pit Box –Very similar to the Front positions, but the starting position will be just over the wall, near the left rear of the car.

  • Gas Man Pit Box – In this box, the gas man will be responsible for filling a car with 18 gallons of non-flammable liquid, using two pre-loaded nine (9) gallon cans. The competitors can use their own fuel nozzles, but must use the provided cans. Gas men will start with one fuel can in hand from just over the wall near left rear of the car, and will be timed through setting the second can down. If the fuel cell is not full, the competitor will receive a time penalty.

  • Jack Man Pit Box – In this box, the jack man, using their own jack, must jack each side of the car high enough to lift both tires off the ground and trigger a special "height light." The jack man must start from outside of the pit box with their hands off the jack and must set off both lights before continuing the competition.

  • 40 Yard "Push" – As soon as each team member finishes their respective station, they can go to the center of the Charlotte Coliseum, where a special 40-yard lane is created. Each team will get to push their own 3,400 pound race vehicle across the finish line. Timing will begin when the car starts to move, finishing when the nose of the racing machine crosses the electronic finish line.

    NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Trophy Tour
    Taking the event to a statewide level, fans will have the opportunity to see the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge trophy during its multi-city tour through North Carolina in the 10 days leading up to the race. The tour
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