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 DETROIT, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Rusty Wallace and Penske Racing South, the combination that scored 10 victories, more than any other team in NASCAR Winston Cup competition during the 1993 season, will compete with the Ford Thunderbird race car in 1994, it was announced in a joint news conference here today at the Renaissance Center.
 The Miller Genuine Draft Ford Thunderbird will make its Winston Cup debut at the season-opening Daytona 500 by STP on Feb. 20, 1994. The team had been competing with the Pontiac Grand Prix the past three seasons.
 "This is a very exciting day for all of us involved in the Ford Motorsport program," said Robert L. Rewey, Ford vice president, Marketing and Sales Operations, who has overall motorsport responsibility at Ford. "The addition of Rusty and Penske Racing South to our NASCAR lineup certainly strengthens, and gives further depth to, our overall program.
 "With this type of quality program -- from the driver, to the team, to the sponsors -- we can't help but be proud. We are certain that this association will help us as we strive for both drivers' and manufacturers' championships in 1994."
 Roger S. Penske, chairman of Penske Corporation, commented, "Our relationship with Ford is consistent with that of our other racing sponsors where we work closely together on all aspects of the program and where there's much more to it than just a name on a race car.
 "We are impressed with Ford's strong corporate commitment to developing and competing with the very best products available."
 "We welcome Ford Motor Company to our Miller Genuine Draft Team Penske, a group of proven winners," said Mike Hart, director of Marketing Services for Miller Brewing Co. "Our three-year relationship with Penske Racing has produced incredible success on the race track and in the marketplace. We feel that the addition of Ford Motor Company to our team is a major step in continuing the acceleration of success that has come to be associated with our team."
 Although this is the first time Ford, Penske and Miller Brewing have joined forces on a racing effort, it isn't the first time these three companies have been closely associated.
 Ford and Penske Corporation's two largest subsidiaries, Penske Truck Leasing and Detroit Diesel, have enjoyed a long-term, business-to- business association.
 Penske Truck Leasing operates a fleet of approximately 65,000 vehicles in the 48 contiguous states. A significant number of those vehicles carry the Ford nameplate.
 In addition, Detroit Diesel has been selling engines to Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) since the 1960s, beginning with the Series 92 engine. Ford began purchasing Detroit Diesel's highly successful, all-electronic Series 60 engine in 1988.
 On the racing side, Penske Racing campaigned a Mercury in NASCAR Winston Cup competition in 1976 driven by Bobby Allison and in 1977 driven by Dave Marcis. Penske then sold all of its Mercury equipment to a NASCAR rookie from Georgia named Bill Elliott.
 Miller Brewing was the primary sponsor of Ford's first major racing car in the Dearborn automaker's return to racing in the early 1980s. The Miller High Life Mustang was successfully driven on the IMSA GT circuit by Klaus Ludwig.
 Although Wallace has been associated with many successful programs over the years, 1994 will mark his first campaign in a Ford product.
 The St. Louis native has 31 career victories and more than $8.6 million in career earnings. He started his Winston Cup career in 1980, driving two races for Penske. His first full season came in 1984, with owner Cliff Stewart, when he captured "Rookie of the Year" honors.
 Wallace won the Winston Cup title in 1989, driving for Raymond Beadle, and when Penske decided to re-enter Winston Cup competition in 1991, Wallace got the call to be the team's driver. In the three seasons since then, the combination has captured six pole positions and 13 wins.
 "As we began preparing for the 1994 season, we did a complete evaluation of what it takes to be competitive with the goal of winning the Winston Cup Championship," Wallace said. "We had a great run with Pontiac, but we made our decision after evaluating all the circumstances on what was in the best interest of the entire team.
 "With Ford's research and development capability and their great support team, we know we've made the right decision for the future."
 The Miller Genuine Draft Ford Thunderbird Team will also include Don Miller, general manager of Penske Racing South, who will also continue as a partner in the team. Buddy Parrott will be crew chief; David Evans will oversee the preparation of the Ford engines; Gary Brooks is the general shop foreman; and David Little supervises the fabrication shop.
 -0- 12/7/93
 /CONTACT: Wayne Estes, 404-973-9136, or Kevin Kennedy, 313-336-0244, both of Campbell & Co., for Ford/

CO: Ford Motor Company; Penske Racing South; Miller Brewing Co. ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

KE-KM -- DE024 -- 1421 12/07/93 16:21 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 7, 1993

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