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NASCAR WCUP: Kenny Wallace's Orient Express II

18 November 1998

HARRISBURG, N.C., - For the second straight year, NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace heads to Japan to compete in a NASCAR exhibition race.

This year's NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi - Coca-Cola 500k at the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi race track promises to showcase some of the premier drivers in the world.

Just as they did last year, EA SPORTS with their NASCAR 99 interactive video game and Square D will be backing Wallace's efforts behind the wheel of his No. 55 Chevrolet Monte Carlo prepared by David Ifft Engineering.

In last year's exhibition race at the 1.54-mile Suzuka Circuitland road course in Suzuka City, Japan, Wallace drove his red, white and blue EA SPORTS/Square D Chevy to a seventh place finish.

"I got ready for last year's race by competing on the Suzuka track in the NASCAR 98 game from EA SPORTS," said Wallace. "Before last year, I'd never had the opportunity to come to Japan and race for real, so I did the next best thing by racing at Suzuka in the video game. The track in the game was identical to the real one in Japan, so it actually helped in my preparation."

David Ifft, the veteran NASCAR crew chief for whom Wallace will be driving for, has 27 cup victories to his credit including a championship in 1973 with Benny Parsons. Now at age 50, Ifft has his own race team in David Ifft Engineering, and traveling to Japan will inevitably write another chapter in his storied racing career.

The NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi - Coca-Cola 500k is an exhibition race, meaning that no championship points can be scored in the event. The race will be 209 laps (310 miles or 500 kilometers) and run under the traditional NASCAR format complete with green flag pit stops.

The NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi - Coca-Cola 500k will be broadcast live by TBS on Sat., Nov. 21 at 10:30 p.m. EST. Because Japan is 14 hours ahead of the United States, the race will actually take place on Sun., Nov. 22 at 12:30 p.m. in Japan.

NASCAR 99 allows players to race on 17 official NASCAR-sanctioned tracks and speedways, and compete as any one of 31 current NASCAR star drivers. Six legendary drivers are also available for NASCAR fans who want to match up today's stars against the men who helped build the sport, such as "The King" Richard Petty. The voices of legendary NASCAR announcers Bob Jenkins and Benny Parsons can be heard exclusively in NASCAR 99.

EA SPORTS is the leading interactive sports software brand in the world. Its top-selling titles include FIFA Soccer, John Madden Football NHL Hockey, NBA Live Basketball, PGA TOUR Golf, Triple Play Baseball and NASCAR 98.

Electronic Arts, headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of $909 million for fiscal 1998. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for personal computers and advanced entertainment systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under seven brand names: Electronic Arts, EA SPORTS, Maxis*, Origin Systems* Inc., Bullfrog* Productions Ltd., Westwood Studios and Jane's* Combat Simulations. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at