Billing it as ¿the greatest farewell concert and party in motorsports history,¿ industry officials announced plans today for the Winston Cup Extreme Tribute Party, an eight-hour entertainment party, featuring top recording artists and other celebrities, on Tuesday night, Oct. 7, at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway.

The event, produced by Charlotte-based Creative Network Studios, kicks-off UAW-GM Quality 500 Week. It will be the largest stand-alone event recognizing R.J. Reynolds¿ contributions to motorsports and serve as a thank you for its Winston brand¿s 33-year sponsorship of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

¿This event is the ultimate opportunity for each driver¿past and present¿owner, team members and sponsors who have been touched by the profound efforts made by R.J. Reynolds on behalf of Winston Cup racing to join race fans in expressing gratitude and to celebrate their tremendous partnership,¿ said Charles Ison, chairman of Creative Network Studios.

¿Our goal is to make this the largest concert and entertainment event ever held in the Southeast,¿ Ison added.

Utilizing the turn two area of the 1.5-mile superspeedway, including the massive Diamond Tower Terrace grandstands, the event will run from 3 to 11 p.m. VIP boxes will be located near the stage with festival-style accommodations positioned in the infield to create the ultimate party atmosphere.

Ison said negotiations with several major ¿headline¿ acts are in the final stages and will be announced within the next few days. Confirmed stage entertainment includes former CMA ¿Entertainer of the Year¿ and ultimate ¿party man¿ Hank Williams Jr. and the complete Las Vegas stage act of legendary entertainer Wayne Newton.

Tickets will go on sale Saturday morning, Aug. 16, through all Ticketmaster outlets. Detailed seating options and prices will be released later this week. Sponsorship packages and VIP box seating are available through Creative Network Studios by calling (704) 523-9272.

Net proceeds from the event will be donated to the Speedway Children¿s Charities in honor of RJR and utilized for children-related causes in various communities.

O. Bruton Smith, founder of Lowe¿s Motor Speedway and chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., was on hand for the announcement and looks forward to seeing the motorsports industry and fans embrace this event.

¿I feel this is a wonderful concept and that¿s why I offered the speedway as the venue and have pledged my personal support and encouragement,¿ said Smith. ¿Winston has been much more than just a sponsor. They have been a tremendous partner in growing the sport of NASCAR and I consider many from their staff, past and present, great friends.

¿It¿s appropriate to have this celebration here in our shared home state of North Carolina and the epicenter of the industry,¿ Smith added. ¿I know the motorsports community will come out in support of this event and help us toast Winston and their much appreciated contributions.¿

Ned Leary, president of Sports Marketing Enterprises, shared his thoughts on the announcement.

"The magnitude of this project is consistent with how Bruton Smith, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports do everything¿first class,¿ said Leary. ¿Charles Ison and his Creative Network Studios exemplify those same traits.

"On behalf of everyone at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and its Winston brand, we appreciate this celebration of our 33-year partnership with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Although the sponsorship ends at the conclusion of the 2003 season, the friendships we've created during those 33 years will endure for years to come."

Ison says it¿s no coincidence that Williams, whose signature song¿¿All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight¿¿made famous as the opening for ABC¿s ¿Monday Night Football,¿ was one of the first acts he booked.

¿Hank sums it up best with his classic line `are you ready for a party?¿¿ said Ison. ¿We¿re just moving the party from Monday night to Tuesday night, Oct. 7!¿