Coca-Cola 600 Pit Note # 9
Coca-Cola Introduces "Connect With The World Over A Coke" Program - Officials from Coca-Cola announced a new program, with Olympians Yao Ming and Steven Lopez getting their first look at NASCAR.
The program will celebrate the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and feature a collectible series of Coke cans in five different languages. The five different cans highlight the languages of the United State, China, Thailand, Ethiopia, and Russia. Lopez is also part of a "six-pack" of cans that will feature U.S. athletes.
Lopez and Ming were honorary pit crew members for Kyle Petty's Coca-Cola team, and then shot basketball with drivers Jeff Burton and Michael Waltrip. Ming is a seven-foot, six-inch NBA basketball superstar, and Lopez is a two-time U.S. Olympic taekwondo gold medalist.
Ming was excited to be a part of the NASCAR experience although he said he still has a heavy heart for the victims of his home country of China, where a devastating earthquake occurred this month. "There is still a lot of work to be done over there," said Ming. "It may take five or 10 years to rebuild. This, though, has been a very good experience. I got to change a tire and refuel the car. It was totally different. It takes a lot of energy. I am starting to love this game."
Lopez was also fascinated by his NASCAR introduction. "I never thought I would be at one of these NASCAR races. This is tremendous."