CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Combining affinity-group and cause-related marketing, First Union Corp. said it is offering checks with designs relating to the Nascar auto racing circuit.

Customers can select checks picturing any of five drivers or commemorating the Nascar Winston Cup Series in general. First Union executive vice president Al Sale said other drivers will be added to the series.

For each order of checks picturing Davey Allison, who recently died in a helicopter crash, First Union will donate $5 to the National Head Injury Foundation. The company has sponsored the First Union 400 race in North Wilkesboro since 1979.

Also seeking to capitalize on the sport's huge following is MBNA Corp., which recently began offering credit cards depicting Nascar drivers.

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