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Batman & The Joker Steal The Show as NASCAR's Dale Jarrett & Kenny Irwin Look On

22 August 1998

Batman & The Joker Steal The Show as NASCAR's Dale Jarrett & Kenny Irwin Look On

    BRISTOL, Tenn.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--August 22, 1998--

    Trackside event surprises thousands of fans at Bristol Motor

    Thousands of NASCAR fans were treated to an unexpected trackside event today during the Goody's Headache Powder 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The event featured drivers Dale Jarrett and Kenny Irwin and a surprise appearance from comic book villain The Joker.
    During a press conference to unveil Jarrett's Batman-themed No. 88 Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus, The Joker appeared from a huge cloud of purple smoke driving Irwin's Joker-themed No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford Taurus.
    The themed cars will debut October 4, at the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event, Batman vs. The Joker: Showdown at Charlotte, is part of a dynamic new partnership between DC Comics/Warner Bros., Action Performance Companies, Inc.(tm), Ford Quality Care, Texaco, TBS Superstation, Robert Yates Racing and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Combining the excitement of NASCAR racing with the action adventure of DC Superheroes, Showdown at Charlotte is a breakthrough in entertainment and sports events.
    The exclusive Batman- and The Joker-themed paint schemes will be featured in merchandise, such as collectible die-cast, apparel and souvenir products, for Jarrett and Irwin, drivers for the Robert Yates Racing team.
    "The race promises to be one of the greatest match-ups ever to hit the speedway," said Joel Ehrlich, DC Comics/Warner Bros. Consumer Products senior vice president of Advertising/Promotions. "If you're looking for high speed action, only Batman can offer the true heart-pounding excitement of a real car chase! There is a new man in NASCAR racing, and his name is Batman."
    Said Fred W. Wagenhals, Action Performance chairman, president and CEO, "This special Showdown at Charlotte is going to be a huge attraction with fans and an extremely entertaining battle between Batman and The Joker. Action is very excited to be bringing this unique event with our partners to Charlotte with great drivers like Jarrett and Irwin."
    Said team owner Robert Yates, "We are thrilled to be participating in this promotion. We have been in the entertainment business for years and now this adventure takes us to a new level. This is a different approach to racing and we are having a lot of fun preparing for the Showdown at Charlotte."
    Said Roy Gadomski, Ford Quality Care motorsports coordinator, "Thanks to this cross-promotional effort by all of the people involved, Ford Quality Care can bring the excitement of Batman to Dale Jarrett's fans. Ford will offer No. 88 Batman die-cast cars as a reminder of the race through some fun promotions. Assuming The Joker doesn't cast his spell on us and ruin our day."
    "Texaco is excited to be a part of bringing the showmanship of Batman and The Joker to a new dimension," said Jill M. Gregory, Texaco director of sponsorships. "For the first time, Batman will battle his arch-nemesis, The Joker, on the racetrack at 'The Showdown' in Charlotte, thrilling the fans of Batman and NASCAR."
    Action will market a variety of exclusively designed merchandise to fans and collectors. Program merchandise was sold for the first time trackside at the Bristol Motor Speedway event and will be available during other major NASCAR events throughout the next few months as well as through Action's usual distribution channels.
    DC Comics, a division of Warner Bros., has a 60-year history of innovative publishing and utilizing its characters to support the marketing of products. From its early alliance with Kellogg's on the classic Superman radio programs that debuted in 1939, to the first online service devoted to comics, DC has demonstrated its heroes' abilities to leap from the printed page to conquer other media.
    Action Performance Companies, Inc., is the leader in the design, marketing and distribution of licensed motorsports merchandise. Its products include a broad range of motorsports-related apparel, souvenirs, die-cast car replica collectibles and other memorabilia. The Company markets and distributes products through a variety of channels, including the 135,000-member Racing Collectables Club of America(tm) (RCCA), trackside at racing events, mass retail department stores, and a nationwide wholesale network of approximately 5,000 specialty dealers and distributors.
    Tickets for the October 4 UAW-GM Quality 500, featuring Batman vs. The Joker: Showdown at Charlotte, are available through the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office or by calling 704/455-3200. The October 4 race will be broadcast on TBS Superstation starting at 12:35 pm EST.

Batman, The Joker and all related characters, names and indicia are trademarks of DC Comics.