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Indy 500: IRL Fan, Driver Could Share $1 Million in MCI Pep Boys Contest

21 May 1998


INDIANAPOLIS, May 21, 1998 -- A lucky race fan and a Pep Boys Indy Racing League driver will have the chance to split $1 million as part of a nationwide promotion co-sponsored by MCI and Pep Boys.

The sweepstakes marks MCI joining the Pep Boys IRL family of sponsors, and is one of the biggest racing prize payoffs during the 1998 season. The MCI Pep Boys Million Dollar Driver sweepstakes will begin June 15; race fans can go to any of the 712 Pep Boys stores to enter, or may enter via the internet at or .

To enter, fans must pick the IRL driver they think will win all three of the TNN-televised races: Charlotte, July 26; Atlanta, August 30; and Las Vegas, October 11. The fan who picks the driver who wins all three races will be entered for a chance to share $1 million with the winning driver. Fans who choose the driver who wins two of the three races will have the opportunity to split $100,000 with the winning driver.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for our fans to cheer on their favorite drivers, and to have a chance to win a great prize," said Tony George, founder of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League and president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I commend Pep Boys and MCI for helping to build fan support and interest in the IRL, as well as TNN for their enthusiastic support of our racing program."

Jim Freudenberg, general manager of MCI Racing, says this promotion is an appropriate introduction for MCI into the Pep Boys IRL series. "This national promotion is a great opportunity for MCI to join with Pep Boys and the IRL and introduce MCI to IRL fans. And with half a million dollars on the line you can bet on seeing some really fierce competition at those three TNN-televised races. After all, competition is what MCI is all about."

"Pep Boys applauds MCI's new sponsorship of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League and looks forward to a mutually rewarding relationship. This inaugural cross promotion will span the entire race season and involve all of Pep Boys' stores nationwide. Our expectations are to increase customer traffic and awareness of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League as well as MCI support," said Bob Billings, vice president of marketing and advertising for Pep Boys.

The promotion runs from June 15 through October 11.

The Pep Boys Indy Racing League is in its third full season of open wheel, oval track racing, based on the heritage of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. There are 11 races in 1998 at some of the nation's top racing venues, including Phoenix, Orlando, Ft. Worth, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dover, Del., Colorado Springs, Loudon, N.H., Las Vegas and Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is host to the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, which was first run in 1911. The Indianapolis 500 is the world's largest attended single day sporting event. It also is the site of the Brickyard 400, a NASCAR Winston Cup race, which is the world's second largest attended single day sporting event. IMS also owns the Walt Disney World Speedway on the grounds of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. The Walt Disney World Speedway is the site of the annual Indy 200 at Walt Disney World, next scheduled for Sunday, January 24, 1999. The mission of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is world leadership in motorsports entertainment.

Pep Boys is the nation's leading automotive aftermarket retail and service chain with 712 stores in 34 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

MCI now has sponsorships in all three of the world's premiere open wheel racing series with today's announcement that MCI is the "Official Long Distance and Local Service Provider of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway." Last year MCI became the "Official Communications Company of CART" and the "Official Long Distance Provider" of 16 of 19 of its racing venues, as well as a primary sponsor of Arciero-Wells Racing and the No. 25 MCI Toyota driven by Max Papis. In December 1997, MCI announced a sponsorship with Stewart Grand Prix in the Formula One series.

MCI, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a leading provider of local-to-global communications services to business, government and residential users. The company's fast-growing portfolio of advanced data and IT services accounts for a quarter of MCI's approximately $20 billion in annual revenue. MCI operates one of the world's largest and most advanced digital networks, connecting local markets in the U.S. to hundreds of locations worldwide. MCI has agreed to merge with WorldCom, one of the world's fastest-growing communications companies. The merger, which is expected to be completed in mid-1998, will create MCI WorldCom, a company uniquely positioned in the U.S. local and long distance markets as well as the global data and Internet markets.