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NHRA: Smith Announces Multi-Race Sponsorship

Compiled by SEMA Editors



SMITH ANNOUNCES MULTI-RACE SPONSORSHIP: Matt Smith Racing has entered into a multirace agreement with Stockseth Racing and Nitro Fish, which will include associate sponsorship for the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and five races each as the primary sponsor for two-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Matt Smith.

“When Mark and Kenny heard that Viper had shut down operations and were going to be unable to honor their commitment of my race team, they both stepped up in a big way to help us out,” said Smith. “Stockseth Racing and Nitro Fish will each be the primary sponsor for five races and an associate for the entire season; that leaves us only needing support for six additional races.”

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GRAY MOTORSPORTS INKS SPONSORSHIP WITH KYMCO USA: Gray Motorsports and KYMCO USA, the official scooter and ATV of NHRA, have entered a multirace agreement that will include primary sponsorship of the team for the 2014 season of NHRA's Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. KYMCO USA has long been associated with the Gray Motorsports family—an NHRA Pro Stock team owned by veteran motorsports enthusiast Johnny Gray and managed by Pro Stock mainstay Victor Cagnazzi.

"We're just thrilled to pieces that KYMCO USA has established themselves as such a great supporter of the Gray Motorsports team because we sure love their product," said Gray, a three-time winner on the NHRA circuit. "It's a great match for us, and I'm proud to represent them."

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COLLINS PROMOTED TO CREW CHIEF FOR MAKE-A-WISH CHARGER: John Collins, in his seventh season with Don Schumacher Racing and fifth as an assistant crew chief to Rahn Tobler, has been promoted to crew chief for the Make-A-Wish Funny Car team with driver Tommy Johnson Jr., beginning with the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville. Collins has worked with Tobler the past five seasons, including the last two as the assistant crew chief on the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge team. For more on this story visit

He Said, She Said


“We had a great time and were in the winner's circle for quite a long time, I think we were the last car to leave. It was so exciting and the guys have been working so hard to get to this point. We were hoping to get a win last year but it is better now than ever. To get it at the start of the season like this, within the first two races is unreal. We are really excited and charged up.”

—Alexis DeJoria on her celebration following her career first Funny Car win at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

Inside the Numbers

4: Number of consecutive track records John Force has written during the past four NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events. He established the new marks for elapsed time at Las Vegas 2, the 2013 season-ending event in Pomona, the 2014 opening event in Pomona as well as at the most recent race at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix. The Funny Car E.T. track record at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville is 4.026 seconds held by John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight, set in 2012.

Did You Know


EFFLER NAMED NHRA VICE PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC RELATIONS: Geno Effler, a proven public relations executive in the automotive industry, has been named NHRA vice president of public relations and communications. Effler will lead and create the strategic direction for corporate communications, media relations and public relations and report directly to NHRA President Tom Compton.

“Geno’s expertise in and knowledge of the automotive industry, including his strong relationships with key media, wide-ranging corporate communications background and expertise in brand messaging will be a great addition to the NHRA team,” said Compton. “Geno will lead our efforts to enhance and expand our current media and public relations initiatives to drive increased awareness of and attention to the sport.”

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View the complete 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Schedule.