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Fri, May 23, 2003

2 Race Cars, 1100 Race Miles, 3 Aircraft, 1 Day

GA Makes It Possible for Robby Gordon to Do 'Double Duty'

A Cessna Citation Business Jet and Two Bell Helicopters will allow world-renowned driver to race in Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day - 500 miles apart. Speed means everything to Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet - especially this Sunday when he plans to race in both the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Ind. and the Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, NC. To accomplish this feat, Gordon will turn to three aircraft to provide the speed he needs to get from one race to the other in less than two hours. Three aircraft from Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter will fly Gordon from the infield at Indy to the infield at the 600.

When the Indy wraps up around 3:30 pm ET on Sunday, Gordon will board a Bell 430 helicopter and fly to the Indianapolis airport where he will board a Cessna Citation X, the world's fastest business jet. The Citation X will take him to the Concord Regional Airport in Concord, NC, a distance of 500 miles in approximately 55 minutes. While on the jet, Gordon will receive intravenous fluids to restore those lost during the Indy and a nurse will be present to ensure he is physically prepared to race the Coca-Cola 600. From Concord Airport, Gordon will take a Bell 407 to the infield of the Lowe's Motor Speedway in time to start the Coca-Cola 600 at 5:30 pm ET.

"Time is of the essence for me Sunday, not only in the races, but in getting from Indy to the 600. I can count on the speed and reliability of Bell and Cessna to get me there in time," said Gordon, who drives for Richard Childress Racing. "Racing is my business, and business flight is their business - together we'll be the fastest team in the world on Sunday."

The Bell 430 and Bell 407 are Bell Helicopter products generally used for corporate transportation. The 430, the helicopter of choice in the corporate market, is a twin-engine eight passenger aircraft. It has a range of 400 miles at speeds up to 160 mph. The 407 is a single engine six passenger aircraft and is flown by many busy sports executives. It travels at 150 mph at a range of 375 miles. Both are used extensively for corporate travel, saving executives valuable time while allowing them to ride in secure, reliable comfort.

The Cessna Citation X has an operating speed of Mach .92 (over 600 mph), and travels one mile in six seconds. First announced in 1990, the Citation X was certified in 1996. It climbs to 43,000 feet in 31 minutes, and is certified to 51,000 feet. The Citation X offers a full-length, stand-up cabin. Currently, there are over 200 Citation X's in the fleet with over 300,000 hours flown.

"We're excited to support Robby's efforts on Sunday. It is quite a physical and mental challenge to race 1100 miles in one day. Reliability and speed are fundamental to our business and our customers and there is no tougher customer on those subjects than a racecar driver," said Steve Loranger, Textron's chief operating officer.

FMI: www.bellhelicopter.com, www.cessna.com, www.textron.com


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