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May Results Could Lead to 2006 Crown Royal IROC Invites

Tinton Falls, N.J. (May 27, 2005) - May is, arguably, one of the most notable racing months of the year in the United States. The tales of two cities - Indianapolis and Charlotte -- engross the racing community. The Crown Royal IROC team is among the transfixed as current and past Series drivers conjure up aspirations of claiming one of racing's crown jewel events and etching their name in the annals. It could be winning the coveted Indianapolis 500 or the Coca-Cola 600, the results of which, could lead to setting the stage for next year's Crown Royal IROC field.

One is already in the record book from this past weekend's events at Lowe's Motor Speedway - Congratulations to Mark Martin, winner of the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. That's $1-million down, and a Crown Royal IROC $ 1 million to go for the all-time IROC Series victory champion.

The next entry in the record book will be determined at the Brickyard as the eyes of the racing world turn toward the heartland.

The starting line up for the 89th INDY 500 has been finalized and one-quarter of the field has IROC credentials. The following is a brief overview of the eight IROC alumni (In order of their INDY 500 starting positions):

Row 1 - Starting second, Sam Hornish Jr.
Two IROC Invitations: 2002, 2003.
Highlight: Hornish Jr. Finished second in his first IROC start to '97 IndyCar champ, Tony Stewart, in the 2002 IROC opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Row 1 - Starting third, Scott Sharp
Four IROC Invitations; 1994, 2002, 2003, 2004.
Highlight: Sharp finished third in the 2002 IROC opener at Daytona International Speedway, making it a 1-2-3 finish for former IndyCar champions, Stewart, Hornish and Sharp, respectively.

Row 2 - Starting fifth, Helio Castroneves
Four IROC Invitations: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.
Highlight: Finished second to Dale Jarrett in the "IROC at INDY" finale in 2002.

Row 3 - Starting ninth, Buddy Lazier
Two IROC Invitations: 2001, 2002
Highlight: Won the inaugural Chicagoland Speedway IROC event in 2002. It was a 1-2-3 finish for INDY 500 winners in IROC as the '96 INDY 500 winner, Lazier, was followed across the stripe by the two-time INDY 500 winners, Al Unser Jr. ('92,'94) and Helio Castroneves ('01,'02).

Row 5 - Starting 13th, Scott Dixon
One IROC Invitation: 2004
Highlight: Dixon was plagued by a grueling IndyCar test schedule leaving the stock car novice little time to prepare for the IROC season. Dixon did manage to place eighth in the season opener at Daytona and in the finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Row 5 - Starting 15th, Sebastien Bourdais
One IROC Invitation: 2005
Highlight: Bourdais won in only his second IROC start at Texas Motor Speedway last month

Row 8 - Starting 23rd, Kenny Brack
Two IROC Invitations: 1999, 2001
Highlight: Brack finished best among the non-stock car contingency in both the 1999 and 2001 IROC seasons. In 2001, Brack was second in points heading to the season finale at the Brickyard before finishing third in the final points standings

Row 11 - Starting 33rd, Felipe Giaffone
One IROC Invitation: 2003
Note: Giaffone was injured in a midseason IndyCar race and was replaced by Scott Sharp for the remaining two races of the 2003 IROC season. Giaffone is co-credited with Sharp as finishing 10th overall in the 2003 IROC Series.

About Diageo
Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.

Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 200 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.

About the International Race of Champions
IROC is auto racing's All-Star Game. It is an invitational auto racing series that matches 12 drivers from different disciplines of auto racing in equally prepared cars. The Series consists of four 100-mile races with points awarded for finishing positions. At the end of the fourth race, points are tallied and a champion of champions is named.

 

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