People Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: J.R. Granatelli Returns to Racing; "Speedy" Bill Smith Receives Petersen Lifetime Achievement Honor and More

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Scott Davis  

Drag-racing champ J.R. Granatelli has left the dragstrip to hit the dirt in the 2009 Mickey Thompson SXS Stadium Series. His return to racing takes place this weekend at the Perris Auto Speedway in Perris, California. For more information on the series, visit

Scott Davis was hired by Lunati as the company’s new account representative to support the company’s more aggressive direction upon being restored to private ownership. Derek Scott, Lunati’s Director of Operations said, “With the previous ownership, engine builders were unable to deal directly with Lunati, and we just want to get the word out that things are different now. We are actively seeking relationships with qualified engine builders, and we are adding the necessary resources to handle their needs.” 

“Speedy” Bill Smith, founder and owner of Speedway Motors  

The Petersen Automotive Museum and Hotrod & Restoration magazine announced that “Speedy” Bill Smith, founder and owner of Speedway Motors, is the eighth recipient of the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award. The annual award recognizes significant contributions to the business and hobby of hot rodding and restoration, and this year marks the first time the award’s recipient is an individual whose impact on the industry was made from somewhere other than Southern California. The award will be presented during the Grand Opening Breakfast, Friday, March 13 at the 11th Annual Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show. For more information on “Speedy” Bill or Speedway Motors, click here. For more information on the 2009 Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show, click here.

Tim McGee  

SPAL USA named Tim W. McGee as the regional sales manager for its commercial fan, blower and electronic product lines. McGee will work to develop and expand the OEM market share for SPAL USA's premium electric cooling fans and blowers in the Southeastern United States region.

Rhys Millen  

HPI Racing, Kyosho America and Tamiya America, three of the largest hobby manufacturers in the world, have joined forces to participate in the first Radio Control Motorsport Experience during the 2009 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 16–19. In addition to the latest in radio-control (RC) products on display, the three companies will demonstrate RC drifting, RC rock crawling, RC tanks and Mini RC table top race cars.

Drifting World Champion Rhys Millen has joined the Team Toyo and will compete for the Formula DRIFT championship in a 550hp, 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Millen also plans to compete with the car in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb and Redline Time Attack events.

 Have you moved on? Up? Know someone who has? Let us know: