People Places & Racing News


The 41st annual Mickey Thompson/ Alhambra High School Automotive Banquet is set for May 29. The top automotive shop students from the Alhambra School District are recognized during the event and are eligible for scholarships and awards. Anyone interested in serving as a mentor to these students or who would like to attend the event, is encouraged to contact Mike Spagnola at or Mary Helen Flores at the Alhambra School District at

 Zoom Performance Products named Michael Perry as its key accounts manager. In his new role, Perry is responsible for sales, analytic customer and market research and customer relationships. “Michael brings valuable experience from the distribution and representation side of the business. We are pleased that Michael chose to join Zoom. His talents will help our rapidly growing company continue to do so,” said Jim Cozzie, president of Zoom.

Michael Perry

Barry Grant appointed Larry Van Gelder to the position of marketing manager. Van Gelder’s industry experience is vast and includes many years as COO of Southern Performance Warehouse, two terms on the SEMA Board of Directors, three terms as president of the Performance Warehouse Association and, most recently, the position of eastern advertising director for Primedia Enthusiast Publications.

Kelley Blue Book revealed the winners of its 2008 Brand Image Awards recognizing automakers’ outstanding achievements in creating and maintaining brand attributes that capture the attention and enthusiasm of the new-vehicle buying public.

The recipients are:

  • Toyota—Best Interior Design—Non-Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback
  • Chrysler—Best Exterior Design—Non-Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback
  • Lexus—Best Interior Design—Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback
  • BMW—Best Exterior Design—Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback
  • Mercedes-Benz—Best Interior Design—Sports Car/Convertible
  • Porsche—Best Exterior Design—Sports Car/Convertible
  • Chevrolet—Best Interior Design—Truck
  • Chevrolet—Best Exterior Design—Truck
  • Toyota—Best Interior Design—Non-Luxury SUV
  • Ford—Best Exterior Design—Non-Luxury SUV
  • Lexus—Best Interior Design—Luxury SUV
  • Mercedes-Benz—Best Exterior Design—Luxury SUV
  • Honda—Best Interior Design—Minivan
  • Toyota—Best Exterior Design—Minivan
  • Toyota—Best Overall Interior Design
  • BMW—Best Overall Exterior Design
  • Mercedes-Benz—Best Overall Prestige Brand

For more information, visit

SCCA Pro Racing has added the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and Road America to the 2008 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge schedule. In addition, despite its absence from the calendar last season, the SCCA SPEED World Challenge will return to Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 8–10. For more information, visit

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC was named the “Industrial Conservationist of the Year” by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation. The award recognizes the company’s longtime commitment to conservation and, in particular, the efforts of team mates at the new Monterrey, Mexico, plant who worked last year with a local university and bird watching groups to publish and distribute the first Spanish-language bird watching guide for the state of Nuevo Leon.

Bridgestone Firestone honored by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation

Kicker announced that it partnered with the fishing vessel Cornelia Marie, one of the four ships featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch.” The Cornelia Marie, a top-performing boat from the show’s 2007 season, was outfitted with a complete sound system that included a 15-inch Solo-Baric L7 sub and two 12-inch CompVT subs. Cornelius Marie Captain Phil Harris said, “Everybody in the fleet knows about the system and are completely envious of our gear.” The new season of "Deadliest Catch" airs on April 15.

Kicker supplies a complete system for the Cornelia Marie from Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch."