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McDonald's Announces Partnership Agreement With Evernham Motorsports

OAK BROOK, IL (March 28, 2005) -- McDonald's announced today the company has entered into a partnership agreement with Evernham Motorsports in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

The agreement calls for McDonald's to be an associate sponsor on the No. 9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger driven by 2004 Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne and the No. 91 Evernham Motorsports Dodge Charger that will be driven by NASCAR champion Bill Elliott at selected Nextel Cup events.

The agreement includes a two-race McDonald's primary sponsorship on Elliott's car. The Bill Elliott Racing entry will carry the McDonald's paint scheme at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (June 19 ) and California Speedway in Fontana (Sept. 5).

"McDonald's is thrilled to partner with Evernham Motorsports, which is one of the premier teams in the popular Nextel cup Series," said John Lewicki, McDonald's senior director of alliance marketing. "Being aligned with a quality owner in Ray Evernham along with a legend in Bill Elliott and an young star in Kasey Kahne, will only enhance the McDonald's brand with NASACAR's loyal fan following. This is a great fit since McDonald's, Evernham Motorsports and Bill Elliott Racing parallel each other as leaders of their respective industries."

Evernham, who carved his legendary status as one of the most successful crew chiefs in NASCAR history before becoming an owner of the high-profile Dodge team, was equally proud of the new association.

"McDonald’s is one of the best known brands in the world and it’s an honor to have them join our team,” said Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports. “McDonald's global reach and innovative marketing programs will provide a whole new level of awareness for our team.”

Kahne, 24, said that he welcomes the new partnership and is looking forward to being affiliated with McDonald's.

"I’ve always been a big fan of McDonald’s, so it’s perfect that they’re now a sponsor with Evernham Motorsports,” said Kahne, who posted five runner-up finishes in 2004 along with 13 top fives, 14 top 10s and four poles. “I grew up on Happy Meals and Value Meals and also enjoy the McDonald's salads. Anytime you can be associated with one of the most recognized companies in the world you just sit back and say, 'I'm lovin' it.' "

Elliott, a NASCAR icon, who owned and drove the McDonald's primary sponsorship car for six seasons (1995-2000), said that he is excited about continuing his relationship with the Golden Arches.

"McDonald's has played a big part in my racing career and I am just as excited now as I was back in 1995 to wear the McDonald's colors," said Elliott, who has amassed career totals of 44 wins, 175 top fives, 320 top 10s, 55 poles and earnings of nearly $37 million. "I am also pleased to see McDonald's joining Evernham Motorsports. These are two great companies that are committed to being the best and they will definitely complement each other."

McDonald's motorsports programs also include primary sponsorships in the Champ Car World Series with the Newman/Haas team and driver Sebastian Bourdais and in the NASCAR Busch Series with Team Rensi Motorsports and driver Jason Keller.


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