National Hot Rod Association Announces Formation of NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series; Premier Drag Racing Sanctioning Body Jumps Into Extremely Popular Import Drag Racing Scene
Ushering in a new era in the import drag racing scene, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), in cooperation with mail-order giant Summit Racing Equipment, announced the formation of the NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series. The NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series will feature six events throughout the United States and guaranteed prize purses.
"We gave much thought to when the right time would be to enter into the popular import drag racing marketplace," said Tom Compton, president of NHRA. "We believe, with Summit Racing Equipment as our series sponsor, the time is now to produce a professional series that maintains the high standards associated with all of NHRA's racing properties."
NHRA presently features several national series including the NHRA Summit Racing Series, NHRA Castrol GTX Junior Drag Racing League, NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
Competitors in the 2001 NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series will accrue points at each of the six events in their quest to become a national champion. A year-end bonus fund of $120,000 is guaranteed, as well as purses at each event and an extensive contingency program. The 2001 NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series will run dial-your-own ET bracket and five heads-up, no break-out classes. All classes will be prohibited to use electronics in the form of throttle stops, delay boxes or rpm activated shifters. A list of all class specifications is attached.
The six-race series will stop in some of the most famous tracks on the current NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series schedule, including Dallas, Gainesville, Fla., Englishtown, N.J., Houston and Sacramento, Calif., with the finals in Pomona, Calif. All six races will be aired on ESPN2.
"We couldn't be happier to team up with NHRA to inaugurate what we believe will be the most respected and competitive import drag racing series in the country," said Jon Hedges, marketing manager, Summit Racing Equipment. "The import drag racing industry is a burgeoning enterprise and one we believe mirrors the long-term growth potential here at Summit Racing Equipment. By partnering with the largest drag racing governing body in the world, we are making a commitment to the import drag racing community to provide the most prestigious series available in the marketplace."
Although import drag racing has been in existence for some time and there are several current series available to import drag racers around the country, many in the industry have argued that only with the participation of NHRA in some capacity could the youthful sport gain legitimacy on a national level. "We spent countless hours talking to racers and the aftermarket community to assess their needs and ways NHRA could address them," said Compton. "The fruits of that effort, we believe, will result in the creation of a series that will truly be the best import drag racing series in the country."
"As a competitor, I am extremely excited with the prospects of NHRA and Summit Racing Equipment teaming up to form a series that promises guaranteed payouts and a professional, well-orchestrated event like we've never seen in the sport," said Adam Saruwatari of the world famous A&L Racing team. "What makes it even more thrilling, speaking as a racer, is that we get to compete in some of the most hallowed and tradition-rich drag racing facilities in the world for a coveted NHRA championship trophy."
"Grassroots racing is what we do at NHRA and this is yet another example of it in the form of import drag racing," said Compton. "Much like NHRA's origins 50 years ago, we have a responsibility to take this form of racing off the street and into safe, controlled environments. This, we believe, will be the start of a long and expanded commitment to the sport of import drag racing."
Summit Racing Equipment, the industry's largest direct marketer of performance automotive and truck equipment, is based in Tallmadge, Ohio, with warehouses in Tallmadge and Sparks, Nev. Founded in 1968, Summit Racing markets products through mail order catalogs and the Internet at SummitRacing.com.
With headquarters in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 24 national events through its NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has more than 80,000 members nationwide and more than 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA Castrol GTX Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.
|NHRA SUMMIT |
IMPORT DRAG RACING SERIES
2001 EVENT SCHEDULE
|Texas Motorplex||Ennis, Texas|
|Gainesville Raceway||Gainesville, Fla.|
|Old Bridge Township Raceway Park||Englishtown, N.J.|
|Sacramento Raceway Park||Sacramento, Calif.|
|Houston Raceway Park||Baytown, Texas|
|Pomona Raceway||Pomona, Calif.|
NHRA SummitImport Drag Racing Series Classes and DesignationsDial Your Own ET Bracket Classes5 (five-tenths) countdown tree
Heads Up ClassesHeads upQualified fieldsFour-tenths (.4) professional treeNo breakouts
All MotorNo power addersFour or six cylinder enginesEight-car qualified fields
Street TireD.O.T. tiresStock floorpanMaximum two power addersFour, six or eight cylinder or rotary enginesEight-car qualified field
Hot RodStock floorplanFront wheel drive onlyBolt on suspension modsMaximum two power addersFour or six cylinder or rotary engines16-car qualified field
ModifiedRear wheel drive or all-wheel drive back half permittedFront wheel drive full tube permittedMaximum two power addersFour, six or rotary engineEight-car qualified field
ProFull tube chassisMaximum two power addersAny import engine (including V8)Eight-car qualified field