People Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: Rick Roberts Joins the Speedmaster Team; Kahn Media Acquires TREAD Agency

Rick Roberts Joins the Speedmaster Team as North American Director of Engineering

Rick Roberts

Speedmaster has hired Fredrick (Rick) Roberts Ph.D as North American director of engineering

Speedmaster has announced the addition of Fredrick (Rick) Roberts Ph.D as North American director of engineering. He is well known for serving 28 years as Edelbrock’s director of engineering, and played an integral part in the development of their EFI, cylinder head and intake manifold programs.

Roberts received his Ph.D in aeronautics from California Institute of Technology and upon graduating, got a job with IBM. While a career in tech seemed immanent for Roberts, his passion for cars drew him to the automotive aftermarket. “I left a good-paying mechanical engineering job to work for what was then a head porting company, Air Flow Research. It was at AFR where I got a first-class education on cylinder heads.” Roberts said. “I became partners with AFR in the purchase of Brownfield Company, the first aftermarket manufacturer to produce a small-block Chevy aluminum cylinder head.”

After only three years, his work caught the eye of Vic Edelbrock Jr., and in 1991, he was appointed director of engineering—a title he held for more than 28 years. In 2019, he founded Roberts Automotive consultants.

“While conducting our search for a Director of Engineering, Rick Roberts’ name came up several times by both candidates and industry colleagues.“ said Speedmaster Deputy CEO Tim Kawasaki. “The fact that someone of Ricks caliber chose Speedmaster over so many other performance brands cannot be overstated.”

Chuck Abbott
Chuck Abbott

AirSept Announces Chuck Abbott as Vice President, Sales and Marketing

AirSept has announced the addition of Charles “Chuck” Abbott as the company’s new vice president of sales and marketing. Hired March 1 by Aaron Becker, AirSept’s president, Abbott’s expertise is in transforming businesses for profitable growth in the tool, equipment and chemical categories via multiple channels to the automotive and HVAC/R service markets. Abbott previously served as vice president, global automotive sales for CPS Products Inc., where he managed strategic accounts, including Snap-on and Lockheed Martin, and was the primary architect of a sales team that significantly grew sales with a focus on new, innovative products, leveraging private-label programs, improving customer retention and expanding distribution here and abroad.

Currently, Abbott serves on the board of directors for the Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association, and previously served on the board of directors for the Equipment Tool Institute. Abbott, a graduate of Lesley University, will have a hybrid work schedule working primarily from his home in Indianapolis.

KahnKahn Media Acquires TREAD Agency

Moorpark, California-based Kahn Media has acquired the assets of TREAD Agency, which will act as a sub-brand of Kahn Media and provide digital marketing services with a focus on off-road, shooting sports, fishing and boating, overland and related market segments. TREAD is based in Southern California with affiliates in Texas, Arizona and Florida. TREAD Agency was founded by public relations and marketing veteran Jeff Dillow. He joined Kahn Media in 2021 and will remain directly engaged with the TREAD Agency brand. For more information, visit and

R&R Marketing Consultants Distribution Partner Meyer Distributing Now Stocking VMP Performance

R&R Marketing Consultants Inc. (RRMCI) has announced a new distribution partnership between Meyer Distributing and VMP Performance. Meyer Distributing is now a full stocking WD for VMP Performance products. They service the entire United States through their 82 locations.

Pat Musi Racing Engines to Host Open House at New Race Facility

Pat Musi Racing Engines and Musi Racing will celebrate the grand opening of their new race facility and the Edelbrock Race Center in Mooresville, North Carolina, with an open house event on Saturday, April 30. Fans will have the opportunity to tour the two facilities, including the new Edelbrock Race Center, home to Musi’s restoration-mod business, which will include the purchasing, upgrading, and reselling musclecars, with the installation of the Edelbrock-Musi 555 crate engine in many vehicles.

Fans can also meet Musi and his team and driver and TV star Lizzy Musi, who will be on hand at the racing facility from 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. for autographs and photos. In addition, her Edelbrock and Lucas Oil-powered “Bonnie” Camaro, and the “Aftershock” Camaro, will be on display. The new facility is located at 1160 Gateway Drive, Mooresville, North Carolina, and the Edelbrock Race Center is located at 379-B Timber Road, Mooresville, North Carolina. For the complete details, visit

Lisa Kubo Joins McLeod Racing as Director of Sport-Compact Sales

Lisa Kubo

Lisa Kuba has been named the new director of Sport Compact Sales for McLeod Racing.

McLeod Racing has announced sport compact driver Lisa Kuba as its new director of Sport Compact Sales. Kubo is a professional drag racer of 12 years and the first sport-compact FWD driver to break into the seven-second zone. She will help grow and strengthen the McLeod Tuner Series line in her new position.

Xtrac Announces New Apprenticeship Academy


The Xtrac Academy will provide hands-on manufacturing and computer-aided engineering skills training focusing on Xtrac’s products.

Transmission technology specialist Xtrac, based in Berkshire, United Kingdom, has launched a dedicated apprenticeship facility at its global headquarters in Thatcham. The Xtrac Academy will provide hands-on manufacturing and computer-aided engineering skills training focusing on Xtrac’s products. The company will continue to work with Newbury College (UK) to offer apprenticeships in advanced manufacturing. For more information, visit

Plews & Edelmann Purchases Blissfield Manufacturing

Plews & Edelmann, a manufacturer and marketer of power-steering components, hoses, automotive fittings and turbo oil lines, has completed its purchase of Blissfield Manufacturing, a third-generation Tier 1 manufacturer of refrigeration products and condensers. Founded in 1946 and based in Blissfield, Michigan, Blissfield produced hydraulic power-steering coolers for original-equipment manufacturers. In the transaction, Plews & Edelmann acquired Blissfield’s technology, designs and manufacturing equipment.

Have some company news you would like to share? Let us know and the news may appear in an upcoming issue of SEMA eNews. Send your items for consideration to