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Sprint Nextel Announces All-Star Lineup for 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge


Star-studded guests to perform duties in pre-race events

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — 05/10/2006, Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) announced today that rock groups Train and Red Hot Chili Peppers and perennial all-pro receiver Steve Smith will participate in pre-race festivities for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 20.

“The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge is a high-energy event that starts well before the green flag waves,” said Michael Robichaud, vice president of sports marketing for Sprint Nextel. “The pre-race atmosphere depends upon a talented and notable lineup of celebrity guests. We are pleased to announce some of the top names in music and sports to add to the pre-event celebration.”

Pat Monahan, lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Train, will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. Formed in 1994, Train is a multi-platinum band, whose hits include “Calling All Angels,” “Drops of Jupiter,” “Free” and “Meet Virginia.” The group also will be performing a pre-race concert presented by Miller Lite.

Warner Bros. Records artists Red Hot Chili Peppers will join the pre-race activities serving as Grand Marshals, which calls for them to give the famous command, “Gentleman, start your engines.” In addition, the band will perform a live set, billed as the Red Hot Pit Stop, between the first and second segments of the 90-lap race. The group’s latest album Stadium Arcadium, which features the hit single “Dani California,” went on sale nationally May 9.

STAR Motorsports’ Steve Smith, a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, will serve as Honorary Starter by waving the green flag to start the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. Smith, a six-year NFL veteran, was an integral part of the Panther’s playoff run in 2003 that resulted in a trip to SuperBowl XXXVIII. After being sidelined with a broken leg in the 2004 season opener, he was awarded the 2005 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award on the strength of an NFL-leading receiving yards (1,563), receptions (103) and touchdowns (12).

The field of drivers competing in the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge qualified by winning a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points race in 2005 or 2006. The field also includes previous event champions from the past 10 seasons who are still active, the winner of the NEXTEL Open and one driver to be selected through fan voting from the NEXTEL Open.

Tickets for the May 20 running of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge are available by calling the speedway ticket office at (800) 455-FANS or online at

About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit


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