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Woman Sleeps in Line to be First for Pepsi 400 Tickets

17 July 1997

Pennsylvania Woman Flies to Daytona Beach;
Sleeps in Line to be first for Pepsi 400 Tickets

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 17, 1997) -- Race fans began lining up at
Daytona International Speedway shortly after midnight Thursday for
what promised to be a great day in racing.  One fan, Darlene Patrick
of Rew, Pa., flew to Daytona Beach Tuesday expecting to sleep on the
front steps of the Speedway.

As if Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty and Jeff Gordon were waiting
inside prepared to sign autographs and give free 200-mph rides around
the famed-Daytona track, fans lined up waiting for the doors to open.

"I've been here since 12:30 last night so I could be first in line for
Pepsi 400 tickets," said Patrick, who slept at the Speedway along with
her friend Cindy Gustafson from Orlando, waiting for the ticket office
to open in order to place a deposit on tickets for the 1998 race. "I
wanted to make sure I had the first opportunity to get the best seats
available. Since it's going to be the first night race, we knew the
race would sell out. I just didn't want to take any chances on not
being able to see it."

Thursday was the first day the Speedway took deposits on tickets for
the inaugural nighttime running of the Pepsi 400. For 39 years,
millions of race fans have flocked to Daytona Beach for NASCAR Winston
Cup racing on the world's most famous speedway.

On July 4, 1998, more than 140,000 will have an opportunity to watch
"Daytona at the Speed of Light," as the world's best drivers
participate in America's fastest growing sport under the lights in one
of the greatest theaters possible.

"We expect a huge renewal from last year's ticket holders," said Gary
McCauley, the Speedway's ticket director. "And with less than 20
percent of the Speedway's total seating available to new ticket buyers
for the 1998 race, most fans feel a sense of urgency to buy their
tickets early. In year's past, grandstand seats have been available at
the gate. I don't expect that to be the case next year."

On July 4, Speedway officials announced plans to install the world's
largest sports lighting project, which calls for more than 130 light
poles ranging from 70 to 140 feet in height, 2,205 fixtures, 150 miles
of wire, 800 tons of concrete and 2,600 square feet of mirrors around
the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Other speedway lighting projects have been successful, but none of
them have come close to the impact the Daytona project will have on
racing and sports in general.

"We've been preparing for this day for many years," said Joe Crookham,
president of Musco Lighting, the contractor for the project.  "We love
big challenges and this one's really huge.  This is not only the
world's largest sports lighting project, lighting Daytona is a
milestone in sports history."

Although the total number of deposits placed Thursday is not yet
known, opportunities do remain for reserving a seat for the
history-making event.

"We wanted to see (Dale) Earnhardt win the first night race at Daytona
on the Fourth of July," said Patrick, "then watch all the fireworks."

Those who had reserved-seat tickets for the 1997 Pepsi 400 won by John
Andretti on July 5, will have until Sept. 15 to renew their seats for
next year's race. Immediately following the renewal deadline, all
unrenewed seats, as well as other remaining seats including the nearly
20,000 currently under construction, will be assigned by order of
deposits placed.

To place deposits or order tickets to other Speedway events, call the
Speedway ticket office at (904) 253-7223.