JEFF GORDON TO DRIVE PEPSI THROWBACK PAINT-OUT CAR AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
JEFF GORDON TO DRIVE PEPSI THROWBACK
PAINT-OUT CAR AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
Gordon to Race Darrell Waltrip's 1983 Pepsi Challenger Paint Scheme
PURCHASE, N.Y.-- April 23, 2009-- Jeff Gordon will give fans a blast from the past at Talladega this weekend when he drives a retro Pepsi Throwback paint- scheme on his No. 24 DuPont/ Pepsi Throwback Challenger Chevrolet on April 26 at Talladega Superspeedway. The last time fans saw this memorable yellow paint scheme was over 25 years ago, when Darrell Waltrip drove the No. 11 Pepsi Challenger to victory lane six times in the race for the 1983 Cup Championship.
Gordon's latest paint scheme celebrates Pepsi Throwback, a new limited time only product sweetened with natural sugar in a retro-look package, offering consumers a taste of the past. The cola began appearing in stores on April 20 and will be available for eight weeks.
"Driving the Pepsi Challenger paint scheme that Darrell Waltrip drove back in 1983 is a great honor for me," said Gordon. "Darrell is a legend of NASCAR and visited Victory Lane several times with that car -- and I hope we can duplicate that success at Talladega. I was really excited when Pepsi brought this opportunity to us. Although the cars are very different, we wanted to make sure our paint scheme closely matched the one that was out front so often in 1983."
Gordon, who is Pepsi's longest standing spokesperson, will be sporting a memorable Pepsi Throwback racing suit, similar to the one worn by Waltrip in 1983.
"Some of my greatest memories are of racing that Pepsi Challenger," said Waltrip. "That was such a dominating run for the #11 team. Jeff Gordon is certainly the guy to carry on that legacy. I still like to tell him that I'm looking down on him from the all-time wins list, but I know he is closing in on me very fast. As much as I hate to get passed by a friend, it's just such a pleasure for race fans to see an all-time great in his prime. I have no doubt that he'll carry on the Pepsi legacy with that car and make us all proud at Talladega."
"Hendrick Motorsports' first season was 1984, and I remember Darrell (Waltrip) running that Pepsi Challenger car for Junior Johnson the year before," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "They were always fast, and that team won a ton of races. For me, it's just fun to think back on those days, and it's neat that we'll be putting that paint scheme on the track again.
"Jeff (Gordon) and D.W. are both big pieces of Hendrick Motorsports' history, and it's really exciting to team them with Pepsi, one of our longest-running partners. Hopefully we can make a few more memories and put that car in Victory Lane with the No. 24 team at Talladega."
"The past will come alive this month at Talladega," said Jeff Dubiel, VP, Pepsi Sports. "We're honored to have two of the most popular drivers in racing history come together for this fun promotion. Darrell Waltrip made that Challenger famous and now Jeff Gordon is going to return it to its glory once more."
As part of the Throwback celebration, Pepsi is launching a number of in-store promotions. Tear pads located in retail outlets will give fans the chance to win cool throwback prizes- five fans will win a trip to DW Motorsports in Charlotte for a barbecue with Darrell Waltrip; 20 winners will receive a Darrell Waltrip autographed retro die-cast car; one lucky fan will win the retro racing suit Jeff Gordon wears during race week at Talladega; and 600 other fans will win a Jeff Gordon/Darrell Waltrip Throwback tee-shirt. Additionally, there will be a new Throwback look for PepsiRacing.com, where each race fans have the chance to win the same cash prize as the winning driver. A free desktop wallpaper featuring Jeff Gordon will be available for download on PepsiRacing.com.
About Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages
Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages (www.pepsi.com), based in Purchase, N.Y., is PepsiCo's refreshment beverage unit in the United States and Canada. Its U.S. trademarks include Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Mug, Aquafina, SoBe and IZZE. The company also makes and markets Tropicana juice drinks, Dole and Ocean Spray single-serve juices and North America's bestselling ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks. For more information, please visit www.pepsiproductfacts.com.