People Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: Craig Barnes; Ernie Saxton; MasterCraft Acquires Ryan Safety

Acker Wheel
Billy Eordekian, president of, and Doug Alton.

Acker Wheel of San Jose, California, has sold its remaining inventory and all assets associated with its OEM wheel business. announced that it acquired Acker Wheel’s 1-800-9Wheels phone number as well as its customer list. Acker Wheel owner Doug Alton stated, “I have other business interests, and I will spend more time with my family.”

MasterCraft Seats has acquired Ryan Safety, a manufacturer of racing safety equipment, including SFI-rated fire suits, neck protection and multi-point harnesses. Design and manufacturing operations for Ryan Safety were relocated to MasterCraft’s headquarters in Santee, California. One of the original founding partners and general manager of Ryan Safety, Larry Vilmer, will continue on with MasterCraft developing and designing safety products.

Craig Barnes
Craig Barnes

DiamondBack Truck Covers announced that it will be shipping product direct to dealers nationwide, a change that enables dealers to purchase products at a lower cost, ensures direct-from-manufacturer support and introduces new MAP pricing to provide higher margins. The company will also offer dealers the opportunity to join its new Preferred Dealer program that provides dealers with exclusive territories for online promotion and sales leads.

General Parts Inc. promoted Craig L. Barnes to senior vice president of merchandising. Barnes will work to create first-to-market programs by utilizing the company’s existing OE and supplier base. Barnes joined CARQUEST in 2009, and prior to that he worked for more than 20 years at AutoZone Inc. in several positions, most recently as vice president merchandising brake systems, under car, global sourcing and quality.

Pep Boys is celebrating the grand opening of the first Pep Boys Speed Shop at 1200 West Washington Blvd. in Los Angeles, California. Carrying an old-fashioned speed shop theme, the goal of the store is to provide one-stop shopping for performance parts and equipment. Grand opening festivities are set for Saturday–Sunday, May 30–31, and include autograph signings by Barry Meguiar and Gale Banks, product displays and demonstrations and show cars from both Edelbrock and Meguiar’s. Hours are 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 30; and 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 31.

Ernie Saxton
Ernie Saxton

Motorsports marketing and promotions specialist Ernie Saxton was named the recipient of the 2009 Leonard J. Sammons Jr. Memorial Award. The award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to auto racing, will be presented to Saxton at the 18th annual Northeast Modified Hall of Fame driver inductions and award ceremonies that take place this Sunday, May 24. For more information, visit

Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. has launched a new program on called Ad Slicks that allows participating stores to create customized ads. Customers can select an Ad Slick that coincides with their promotional plans and customize the ad to include store name, logo, address, store hours, special pricing and special announcements. Ad Slicks can be downloaded as a high resolution PDF that can be printed in desired quantities to be distributed in store or distributed to newspapers as a regular advertisement. Keystone is offering a free 30-day trial of Ad Slicks to store owners at

Quarter Mile Entertainment LLC is creating a documentary that will chronicle drag racing’s pioneers from the time immediately following World War II to the beginning of the modern era. Known as Project 1320, the goal is to produce a high-quality documentary film that centers on the individuals, manufacturers and sanctioning bodies that helped propel the sport to its current level. Project 1320 will be seeking both corporate and grassroots support to document drag racing’s historic moments and personalities.