People Places & Racing News


Speedway Motors founder and owner “Speedy” Bill Smith was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Darryl Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame Museum. He joins pioneers such as Robert Petersen and George Barris in receiving the award. Smith said he was honored to be recognized by his peers in the rodding community, and he reflected on the significant growth of the hobby that he has witnessed since starting Speedway Motors more than 56 years ago: “Street rodding is alive and prospering and growing faster than any other hobby and has become what I have always known it would be—one of the biggest pastimes in the country.”  

Bill Smith (right)

Modern Tire Dealer (MTD) magazine is now accepting nominations for its 2008 Tire Dealer of the Year award. One dealer is chosen each year from a pool of 26,000 eligible independent tire dealers throughout North America that are evaluated in five key categories: business success, marketing skill, management skill, industry knowledge and community involvement.
    To nominate a candidate for this year’s Tire Dealer of the Year award, visit, or fill out the nomination form found in issues of Modern Tire Dealer. The 2008 Tire Dealer of the Year will be announced and the recipient featured in the September 2008 issue of the magazine. MTD directly donates $1,000 to a charity or charities selected by the winner along with additional money from the award’s sponsors.
    The Dealer of the Year program has enabled MTD—in conjunction with many tire manufacturers and other companies that support the program—to donate more than $120,000 to a wide variety of charities.

The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHOF) is currently accepting nominations for induction in the Class of 2008. Nominations will be accepted from the public and industry members through the nomination packet available as a free download from the ORMHOF website, ORMHOF is searching for individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the development of off-road motorsports. Those who will be considered must have been involved in off-road motorsports for fifteen years or longer. Their contribution or impact might be as outstanding competitors, or as leaders in the recreational field who have helped shape the sport, or as pioneers in the industrial and technological development of off-road motorsports.
    The 2007 Class of 8 inductees included Edo Ansaloni, Italian off-road competitor and innovator in the Pioneer: Advocate category, William A. Bryan, founder of the California Association of 4WD Clubs in the Recreation: Four Wheeling category, Gil George, fabricator, innovator, and Founder of Funco Motorsports in the Pioneer: Industry category, Sue Mead, in the Pioneer: Journalism category, and in the Competition: Off-Road Racing category were Dick Landfield, Founder of Enduro Racing, Walt Lott, Founder of HDRA, Mickey Thompson, a motorsports legend, and Frank, (Scoop) Vessels, multiple champion and business leader. 
    Nomination packets will be accepted by ORMHOF until March 15, 2008. The nominations will be reviewed by the voting committee in April. The 2008 Induction Ceremony will take place in August at ORMHOF’s home in the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. If you have any questions after reviewing the Nomination Packet on the website, contact Executive Director Bob Bower at

California Tire Dealer Association - South Director Ed Cohn, was honored with a banquet in January in Los Angeles. Event underwriter, Billy Eordekian spoke of how industry associations, such as SEMA, TIA, as well as state-level tire dealer associations are vital to business success—especially for the independent tire dealer.
    Among the attendees honoring Cohn for his contribution to the tire industry were Firestone dealer and past president of the National Tire Dealers Association (NTDRA) Paul Bobzin, past member of the Executive Board and former Goodyear dealer Don Farquhar, as well as tire industry stalwart Jay Goldberg.

Ed Cohn (middle)

Agri-Cover Inc. hired Russ Kiefer as national sales manager for the company’s Ag Division. Kiefer is responsible for growing accounts in the U.S. market. He brings six years of experience building dealer networks in the United States and international markets and more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience.

Russ Kiefer

Woodhouse Performance announced that it will return to the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship with driver Jeff Courtney. “2007 was a great year for Woodhouse Performance and it is exciting to be back in 2008,” Courtney said. “We have created some dynamic team synergy that I look forward to refining this year. We intend to prove the viability of the Dodge Viper in this series, while several other teams from last year have now opted for other cars.”

Jeff Courtney's Dodge Viper

Grant Brothers Sales Quebec Business Unit hired Karl Clement as district manager, Quebec. Clement will be based in the Montreal region and is responsible for Heavy Duty Fleets. He will also have some automotive responsibility in the Montreal North Shore region.

Karl Clement

Firestone Industrial Products announced that Sean Fowler joined the company as strategic account executive in Firestone's Ride-Rite division. He is responsible for developing and executing business strategies to expand Ride-Rite distribution to national retail parts chains, as well as other prominent national accounts.  Prior to joining Firestone Industrial Products, Fowler was employed at American Racing Equipment, where he handled National Accounts. 

Sean Fowler

Century Truck Caps, a division of the Truck Accessories Group LLC (TAG), announced its top 10 dealers for 2007. Its 2007 “Passion For Partnership” campaign focused on developing Century into the preferred, full-line fiberglass and aluminum truck cap supplier.
    The top 10 Century dealers: Yankee Custom Caps of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine (five locations); Fibertech of Utah, Arizona and Nevada; Midwest Truck with three stores in Michigan; Camper City, with six locations covering Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee; Stellar with eight stores throughout Georgia and Florida; Tri County Truck Tops of Illinois (four locations); Radco Industries with a total of nine stores in South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska; Arrow Toppers of Florida; Continental Fiberglass in Kansas; and Texas Tops in Texas.

For the second consecutive year, GoldenWest Lubricants and its Prolong brand is the title sponsor for the Prolong Twilight Cruise Nights at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California.
    Beginning on April 2, the Prolong Twilight Cruise Nights are held on the first Wednesday night of each month through December (except that there are two cruises in August and none in September due to the Los Angeles County Fair). The popular events feature free admission to the Museum, and a chance to see hundreds of street rods, hot rods and musclecars in the parking lots. launched its automotive specialty parts and accessories website featuring over 100,000 parts in 115 brands. Rob Eberhart, a 15-year veteran of the specialty parts industry will lead the effort. was founded in 2007 with roots in the automotive distribution business for over 50 years, and has over 10 years of Internet retailing experience in the auto parts aftermarket.