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NASCAR-WCUP: The Home Depot to Partner with Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR Winston Cup Series

4 September 1998

CHARLOTTE, NC - September 3, 1998 - The Home Depot, the worlds largest home improvement retailer, announced today a long-term marketing partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing to field an entry in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series with racing sensation Tony Stewart as the driver.

Tony Stewart
Stewart and The Home Depot Pontiac team will contend for the coveted NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie-of-the Year title during the 1999 season beginning in February at Daytona International Speedway.

"We view NASCAR as an excellent platform to further build relationships with our customers, many of whom are loyal NASCAR fans," said Bill Hamlin, Group President, The Home Depot.

"This is a great scenario for The Home Depot. To be associated with a first- class operation like Joe Gibbs Racing and a talented driver like Tony Stewart in NASCARs premier division sets us up to win with our customers, employees and ultimately on the track."

"Having The Home Depot on board will be a tremendous asset to our program," said Joe Gibbs. "They have been successful by hard work, team work and good people, the same principles we have adopted.

"We are committed to giving Tony and The Home Depot team every advantage possible to win the Rookie-of-the Year title and the opportunity to be a contender at each race in 1999. We are looking forward to a long association with The Home Depot and are very pleased they have chosen Joe Gibbs Racing to make their entry into NASCAR Winston Cup racing."

Stewart, the defending Indy Racing League (IRL) champion and current series points leader, joined Joe Gibbs Racing in 1997. He drove five NASCAR Busch Grand National (BGN) events in 97 and is currently running a limited BGN schedule while defending his IRL title. Plans are to have Stewart enter a few Winston Cup races late in the 98 season prior to his full-time entry in the series in 1999.

"I am very excited about working with the people at The Home Depot," said Stewart. "Their aggressive, can-do attitude is a perfect fit for our team. I think the partnership of Joe Gibbs Racing and The Home Depot is a winning combination you will hear a lot about in the future."

The Home Depot Racing Team will be based in the new Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters currently under construction in the Huntersville (NC) Business Park. Scheduled for completion in November, 1998, the 124,000 square foot facility will also house the Joe Gibbs Racing Winston Cup team driven by Bobby Labonte and both Joe Gibbs Racing NHRA teams.

Founded in 1978, The Home Depot currently operates 690 stores in the United States, Canada and Chile. The company posted gross sales of $24.1 billion in fiscal 1997. Presently, The Home Depot employs 156,000 full and part-time associates. For five consecutive years, the company has been recognized as Americas Most Admired Specialty Retailer by Fortune magazine. Its stock is publicly traded (NYSC:HD) and is included in the Standard & Poors 500 index.

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