People Places & Racing News


Don Prudhomme Racing selected Spencer Massey as driver of the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company Top Fuel dragster for the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Massey, who won the 2008 Top Fuel Championship in his first full season of International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) competition, will immediately become an NHRA Top Fuel championship contender as crew chiefs Don Bender and Todd Smith look to improve on the U.S. Smokeless Racing team’s second-place finish in 2008.   

Ellen McKoy  

SEMA Senior Director of Dealer Relations Ellen McKoy will receive a Spirit of Leadership Award from the Women’s Automotive Association International (WAAI) at the WAAI’s annual gathering on Saturday, January 24, in New Orleans. The award is presented annually to women in the industry in recognition of accomplishments in their profession, community and as mentors to other women.  

Tina Payne Hunt has joined Beck/Arnley as director of marketing. Hunt will play a key role in sales force communications and customer relations and will oversee all marketing activities for the company, including strategy, brand development, advertising, public relations, promotional programs and website management.

Luanne Brown, CEO of eTool Developers, SEMA Board member and immediate past chair of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network announced that eTool Developers ( has acquired the former gNetworks design/development team and offices following the restructuring of gNetworks in October. The new team members have worked closely with eTool Developers over the past seven years.

Luanne Brown  

Advanstar Communications and Ryan Communications Group announced an alliance of the two companies that will transfer ownership of Dirt Sports Magazine and the website to Ryan Communications Group (RCG), led by Jim Ryan, former Group Publisher of Dirt Sports and Advanstar’s Off-Road Group. The Off-Road Expo events and will remain part of Advanstar and join the company’s Automotive Group alongside, Motor Age, Aftermarket Business, Automotive Body Repair News and Motor Age Training. For more information, click here

The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) RallyCross program will hold 11 National Challenge events in 2009, including East and West Championships, beginning with events at Stafford Speedway and Homestead Miami Speedway. The January 10–11 event in Stafford, Connecticut, will likely involve snow, while the Homestead, Florida, event, held February 21–22, will likely see temperatures in the 70s. RallyCross National Challenge: