Burger King Corporation announced today it will broaden its involvement in professional sports by entering the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series™.

Beginning this year, BKC will become a primary sponsor of Michael Waltrip Racing’s (MWR) No. 00 race car driven by Bill Elliott.

BKC will help launch MWR in the NEXTEL Cup Series and sponsor five races in 2006, including races at Chicagoland Speedway, July 9, New Hampshire Speedway, July 16, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Aug. 6, California Speedway, Sept. 3, and Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 9. The company will activate the sponsorship through a specially designed No. 00 paint scheme, in-store activities and driver appearances.

“Many BURGER KING® customers are loyal NASCAR fans, and our HAVE IT YOUR WAY® philosophy is all about serving up things our restaurant guests want,” said Russ Klein, chief marketing officer, BKC. “By linking our brand with fan favorites like Michael Waltrip and Bill Elliott, not only do we feel confident that we have entered the sport with proven winners, but we’ll also be showcasing two people who share our desire to give fans the experience they’re looking for at every turn.”

The MWR team has won multiple races in the NASCAR Busch Series, and owner Michael Waltrip has won 11 Busch Series and five NEXTEL Cup Series races as a driver, including two Daytona 500s. Waltrip was among the first owners to announce plans to work with Toyota starting in 2007, during its first foray into NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with one of the most recognizable brands in the world,” Waltrip said. “Burger King Corporation understands the power of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing and its loyal fan base of more than 75 million people.”

NASCAR champion Bill Elliott brings an iconic presence behind the wheel of the BURGER KING® No. 00 race car for 2006. Like Waltrip, Elliott is a two-time Daytona 500 winner, and his 44 career wins rank him second in trips to victory lane among active drivers, only following Jeff Gordon.

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