All-Star Challenge Details Released

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CONCORD, N.C. - Sprint NEXTEL has announced several initiatives around its NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge in May, including a live performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the return of the NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge, the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Fan Vote and an all-star dedicated multimedia platform available on select Sprint phones.

"The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge is a signature event for Sprint NEXTEL and one that we look forward to all year," said Michael Robichaud, vice president of sports marketing for Sprint NEXTEL. "Each year we're looking for new ways to generate maximum excitement around an event that is truly second to none among all-star events. What better way to add excitement than with a performance from the Red Hot Chili Peppers?"

Red Hot Pit Stop
A live performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers will highlight new activities in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge in 2006. The Warner Bros. Records artists will play a set between segments of the all-star event. Their performance comes on the heels of the legendary band's long-awaited double-album release Stadium Arcadium which hits stores May 9. The album features the new hit single "Dani California."

The "Red Hot Pit Stop" will take place during the intermission between the first and second segments of the 90-lap event. Additionally, the event will be broadcast for fans in the stands on NEXTEL Vision screens and on the new NASCAR NEXTEL FanView. The device, available trackside during the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, is a next-generation race scanner that integrates the audio of today's race-day scanners with live video, race statistics and audio replay, providing at-track race fans with unprecedented access to race and entertainment action.

Tickets for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge are available at Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at www.LowesMotorSpeedway.com or by calling (800) 455-FANS.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman
The second NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman will take place in a new venue in 2006, moving to the new Charlotte Bobcats Arena in uptown Charlotte. The event, taking place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 17, is the only event of its kind officially sanctioned by NASCAR and pits the sport's favorite over-the-wall athletes against each other in several skills competitions to showcase their considerable talents.

General admission tickets for the event are available April 17 for $10. Fans can purchase at the Bobcats Arena Box Office at www.CharlotteBobcatsArena.com or by calling (800) 495- 2295.

Participating teams will partake in open practice at Cabarrus Arena and Events Center throughout the month of May. The practices, which are open to the public, are May 8 from 2-6 p.m., and May 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Content Available on Sprint Power Vision Handsets
Exclusive NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star content will be available for the first time on multimedia Sprint Power VisionSM handsets beginning April 28. This channel will provide exclusive expert insight about the all-star event from racing legends such as Benny Parsons and Larry McReynolds.

Additionally, pertinent information on several events around the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge during all-star week will be available.

NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Fan Vote
Fans will once again have a say in who should race in the event with the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge NEXTEL Fan Vote.

The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge field currently consists of drivers who have won a points race in 2005 or 2006, and former NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Champions who remain active. Fans will have the opportunity to vote in one driver among the top 50 in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver points standings who is not already in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge field.

Voting will be available on all platforms by April 28 and can be completed via the following channels:
  • Sprint or NEXTEL phones -- Text "NASCAR" to 7777 on your Sprint or NEXTEL web-enabled phone and follow the received directions
  • Trackside at The NEXTEL Experience
  • Participating Sprint and NEXTEL retail locations
  • Online at www.nascar.com
  • Bass Pro Shops retail locations Voting through a Sprint or NEXTEL handset allows fans to receive a free Mark Martin screensaver commemorating his 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge victory.

    America's Most Wanted All Star Presented by NEXTEL
    For the second year, Sprint, Together with NEXTEL has partnered with "America's Most Wanted" to recognize first responders who go beyond the call of duty. AMW All-Star presented by NEXTEL recognizes eight all-stars in eight weeks with one national winner, selected from the eight finalists, who will be announced by John Walsh on the May 20, 2006, FOX broadcast of "America's Most Wanted." The eight weekly all-stars will qualify as finalists in the vote for the national prize, which is $10,000 and an all-star weekend at the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.

    Rock Group Train to Entertain Race Fans
    The Grammy Award-winning rock group Train will roll into Lowe's Motor Speedway for a high-octane performance presented by Miller Lite prior to the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on Saturday, May 20. Train will perform a one-hour concert on the Miller Lite Rock 'n' Racing stage located between Turns 1 and 2 in the Lowe's Motor Speedway infield.

    Gates open at 1:30 p.m. and local band, Charity Case, will take the stage at 1:45 p.m. A second warm-up act will follow with Train's performance scheduled to begin at 3:30. Concert admission is free with the purchase of a ticket for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, NASCAR racing's annual all-star event.

    Formed in 1994, Train quickly developed an avid following in the San Francisco area and by 1997 was opening for national bands such as Barenaked Ladies and Counting Crows. The group's self-titled debut album was released in 1998 and included the hit singles "Free" and "Meet Virginia," which spent four weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.

    The group's second album, Drops of Jupiter, arrived on March 27, 2001, and its title single "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)" was a runaway hit. The song eventually earned Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.

    Train's release of My Private Nation in June 2003 gave fans the Grammy-nominated No. 1 radio hit "Calling All Angels" and the group's acclaimed live concert album debuted in 2004.

    In its latest release, For Me, It's You, Train explores new levels of emotional depth and musical unity in songs such as "For Me, It's You" and "All I Ever Wanted."

    Playing hundreds of shows each year, Train is recognized as one of the nation's hottest live bands. Led by vocalist Pat Monahan, Train also features Jimmy Stafford (guitars), Scott Underwood (drums), Brandon Busch (keyboards) and Johnny Colt (bass guitar).

    Tickets for the May 20 running of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, which includes the Train concert, start at just $21 and are available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.

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