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Fri, 30 Nov 2001, 07:10 AM

O'Reilly Auto Parts Adds Memphis to its NHRA National Event Lineup
Courtesy of NHRA Communications

GLENDORA, Calif. -- O'Reilly Auto Parts has reached a multi-year agreement with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to become the title sponsor of the NHRA Drag Racing Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park beginning in 2002, NHRA Vice President of Sales and Business Development Bob Wagner announced today.

The 15th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals is scheduled for Sept. 19-22, at Memphis Motorsports Park, Millington, Tenn. The race is the 19th of 23 events in NHRA Drag Racing Series for 2002, and will be televised by the ESPN family of networks.

"O'Reilly Auto Parts is pleased to have the opportunity to add yet another very exciting event to our growing lineup of NHRA Nationals title sponsorships," said Ron Byerly, vice president of advertising and marketing for O'Reilly Auto Parts. "We've enjoyed our relationship with the NHRA over the years and we certainly welcome continued opportunities to expose our customers to the excitement of NHRA Drag Racing through a variety of promotions and discount coupons for tickets that will be available through O'Reilly Auto Parts stores."

The commitment increases O'Reilly's presence in NHRA Drag Racing. The company also is the title sponsor of the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in mid-April; the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka on Memorial Day weekend in late May; and the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas, held in mid-October.

"It's gratifying to see a progressive company like O'Reilly Automotive increase their presence in the NHRA Drag Racing Series by becoming the title sponsor of our annual event at Memphis Motorsports Park, a race that has become a very significant event as teams chase World Championship points in our NHRA Drag Racing Series," said Wagner. "O'Reilly continues to be an outstanding partner in growing our fan base and certainly has demonstrated a keen ability to effectively utilize NHRA national event sponsorships as a part of its overall marketing strategy."

O'Reilly Auto Parts is one of the largest specialty retailers of automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment and accessories in the United States, serving both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets. Founded in 1957 by the O'Reilly family, the company operates more than 730 stores within the states of Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and Illinois.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 24 national events through its NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 2001. The NHRA has more than 80,000 members nationwide and more than 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA Castrol GTX Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

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