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    CITGO Ends NASCAR Sponsorship

    Decision will not affect oil company's other national sponsorships.

    TULSA, Okla. -- CITGO Petroleum Corp. yesterday said it would discontinue its long-running sponsorship in Winston Cup Series NASCAR racing at the end of the current season. The exit marks the end of the Big Oil company's three-year team sponsorship with Roush Racing and the #99 Ford Taurus driven by NASCAR driver Jeff Burton.

    "Evolving strategies call for evolving tools," said CITGO chief operating officer Jerry Thompson. "We entered racing at a time when CITGO was a little-known, regional entity and the Wood Brothers helped put us on the map. Following that, Jack Roush, Jeff Burton and the winning effort of the entire #99 team helped take us further up the ladder. We very much appreciate both organizations representing CITGO so well."

    "We are deeply grateful for having the opportunity to represent CITGO these past three years. Notwithstanding the success of the program on and off the track, we are mindful that different strategies may require different marketing executions, and wish CITGO the best in executing its new strategy," said Roush Racing owner Jack Roush.

    The racing exit will not affect CITGO's other national sponsorships such as the BASSMASTER Tournament Trail or the Muscular Dystrophy Association. "We remain committed to the growing B.A.S.S. fishing program and to our longstanding association with MDA and 'Jerry's Kids,'" Thompson said.

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