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Published on .

(July 17, 2001) -- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. will not renew its 27-year sponsorship of the National Hot Rod Association's drag racing division, in order to comply with the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between tobacco companies and the state attorneys general.

The November 1998 settlement limits cigarette companies to one brand-name sponsorship a year. RJR, whose Winston brand has been the title sponsor of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series since 1975, will terminate that relationship after the 2001 season to maintain its 30-year sponsorship of the NASCAR Winston Cup.

The settlement permitted cigarette companies to continue brand-name sponsorships for up to three years, from Aug. 1, 1998. -- Cara Beardi

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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