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NASCAR-WCUP/WW: Ralph's Food 4 Less Joins Forces with Butch Gilliland

6 November 1998

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery Company is announcing the formation of their 1999 NASCAR Team, for the NASCAR Winston West Racing Series. It is with great pride that the Ralphs / Food 4 Less Race Team is also announcing that Butch Gilliland and his #1 Ford Taurus will be the Ralphs / Food 4 Less Race Team driver. Gilliland and Ralphs have agreed that in addition to racing in the NASCAR Winston West Series, they will also participate in a number of NASCAR Winston Cup Races. Gilliland, 1997's NASCAR Winston West Series Champion, is excited about the deal, and is looking forward to next season with his new sponsors.

"We are really excited", said Gilliland, about his new sponsor Ralphs. "We really had a good time with the people of Ralphs and Food 4 Less at the last 2 local races, and we are looking forward to the upcoming season with them." "Ralphs is a very large and well known company in Southern California, and I am very excited that they have chosen me to represent them in racing." "It is very positive to have support for a local driver like myself, from such a great company."

Ralphs Grocery Company founded in 1873 is the oldest and largest supermarket operator in Southern California. The company currently operates over 300 full-service conventional Ralphs and Hughes supermarkets and 85 price - impact Food 4 Less warehouse stores. Ralphs Grocery Company is a subsidiary of Fred Meyer, Inc., a Portland, Oregon based retailer with more than 800 food stores in 11 western states and annual sales of $15 billion.

Butch Gilliland, 1997 NASCAR Winston West Series Champion, is currently 5th in points going into the last race of the season in Las Vegas, with 3 win's, 5 top 5 finishes and 5 top 10 finishes on the season. Butch has been racing since the age of 8 competitively and has been racing in the Winston West Series for the past 12 years. Butch has driven in a number of Winston Cup races over the years, and has also been invited to the last three Winston Cup Invitational races in Japan.

The new team plans to run a full season in the 1999 NASCAR Winston West Series, including 5 Winston Cup Races. They will enter the races in Las Vegas, Fontana, Sears Point, Phoenix and Indianapolis. All are local markets for the Ralphs Grocery Company and their parent company Fred Meyer with the exception of Indianapolis. Ralphs will be teaming up with Mission Foods and a number of associate sponsors for the 1999 race season in their quest for the championship.