Field Set for Pennzoil Victory Challenge on May 16
Three-time NASCAR Champion and former Pennzoil driver Darrell Waltrip has accepted the invitation to become the seventh and final competitor for the 2009 Pennzoil Victory Challenge on May 16 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Waltrip was officially invited to compete by Shell-Pennzoil driver Kevin Harvick Friday night during SPEED's Trackside Live from Talladega, Ala. In classic Waltrip fashion, D.W. gladly accepted and will enter this unique on-track competition scheduled as a part of the pre-race festivities for the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Waltrip won the inaugural All-Star race in 1985.
"Pennzoil has always been special to the Waltrip family," commented Darrell Waltrip. "Michael and I both got to drive the Pennzoil car. The No. 1 Pennzoil car revitalized my career when I really needed it. It will be fun to burn up the track again in the Pennzoil Victory Challenge."
Waltrip and Pennzoil have a relationship that dates back to 1998. The late Dale Earnhardt called on Waltrip to fill in for an injured Steve Park after he suffered a broken leg in a crash at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
"We are so pleased to have Darrell Waltrip compete in a Pennzoil event," stated Troy Chapman, Marketing Director, Pennzoil. "Darrell ran some exciting races for Pennzoil back in 1998, and he is a true champion of the sport. We are excited to watch him give today's stars a run for their money in the Pennzoil Victory Challenge."
Competing against Waltrip will be Shell-Pennzoil driver Harvick, defending Pennzoil Victory Challenge champion Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and defending champion of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Kasey Kahne.
A new facet to the 2009 Challenge includes a panel of celebrity judges featuring 16-time World Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair, NFL All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss, SPEED's own Jimmy Spencer, plus Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of the award-winning country music group - Montgomery Gentry.
These celebrities will be judging the tire-smoking donut capabilities of the participating NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars.
The Pennzoil Victory Challenge is a competition that pits some of NASCAR's top drivers against one another to see who can deliver the best tire-smoking donut allowing the drivers a chance to showcase some of their best celebratory skills. Instead of an obstacle-course format like in 2008, this year's format will allow drivers a longer freestyle demonstration without a specific course to run. Each driver will compete in identically prepared stock cars and will have 30 seconds to complete their respective runs.
"Pennzoil is very excited to bring this event to the fans of NASCAR," said Chapman. "As race fans know, it takes a clean-running engine to make it to Victory Lane. We imagine that the feeling after a big race win is similar to the exhilaration some drivers feel when their car's engine is running clean after a Pennzoil oil change. That is why Pennzoil is the sponsor of the Pennzoil Victory Challenge."
The event will take place on the front stretch of Charlotte Motor Speedway immediately preceding the Sprint Showdown. SPEED Channel will carry the event live beginning at 6:00 p.m.
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