NASCAR fans have one more reason to cheer this Memorial Day weekend as stars of the hit FOX television program, "American Idol," take the stage as part of the pre-race show at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

Joining the Idols for the pre-race activities and driver introductions will be the show's popular host, Ryan Seacrest. American Idol finalists will perform the national anthem, plus several other songs prior to the race on Sunday, May 29. As part of the festivities, 12 children of North Carolina servicemen and women currently serving overseas will participate in the show as Grand Marshals. Ryan Seacrest and the Idols will also appear on the Coca-Cola stage at Food Lion Speed Street on Saturday, May 28.

"The 'American Idol' competition brings the real talent of young people into the homes of millions of Americans. Combining the stars of NASCAR and 'American Idol' gives fans another reason to enjoy the Coca-Cola 600," said Beatriz Perez, vice president sports and entertainment marketing, Coca-Cola North America.

"The Coca-Cola 600 has developed a reputation for spectacular pre-race shows and celebrity participation. With the American Idol contestants and Ryan Seacrest taking part, this year's Coca-Cola 600 will be an event unlike any ever seen in Charlotte," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We'll have star power on the stage and the track as the Coca-Cola 600 continues to evolve as one of the world's top sporting events."

Television coverage of the 2005 Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. EDT on FOX. The race is set to start around 5:40 p.m., and can also be heard on the radio on the Performance Racing Network (PRN). A distinctive Japanese-style anime spot featuring drivers from the Coca-Cola Racing Family -- part of the new Coca-Cola 'Make It Real' campaign -- debuted on the season premiere of American Idol and will air during the telecast of the Coca-Cola 600. The American Idols pre-race performance is included with admission to the Coca-Cola 600. Affordable tickets for the event are still available online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.

Coca-Cola is the official soft drink of NASCAR and, through its association with tracks and race teams, has been involved in the sport for more than 40 years. The Coca-Cola Racing Family (CCRF), a group of popular NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers, includes Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, 2004 champion Kurt Busch, Bill Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty, Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart, and Michael Waltrip, as well as former drivers Richard Petty and Ned Jarrett. Members of the CCRF make public appearances and are featured in advertising campaigns, on vending machines, and on packaging and point-of-sale materials. Coca-Cola is the title sponsor of the Coca-Cola 600, held each Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

About The Coca-Cola Company:
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five soft drink brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, visit www.coca-cola.com.

About American Idol:
Eight-time Emmy Award-nominee AMERICAN IDOL was created by Simon Fuller of 19TV and developed by FremantleMedia. Executive producers are Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe for 19TV and Cecile Frot-Coutaz and Ken Warwick for FremantleMedia North America. 19 also manages such leading musical artists as Annie Lennox, Will Young, and Fantasia. FremantleMedia North America is one of America's foremost producers of reality-based entertainment programming for television, and has produced the IDOL format in more than 30 countries worldwide.