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Movers & Shakers: PRI Announces Promotion, Adds New Executive Assistant

Erika Stafford (left) and Jillian Hoy (right).

PRI Announces Promotion, Adds New Executive Assistant

Performance Racing Industry (PRI) has announced the promotion of Erika Stafford from executive assistant to trade show and events specialist. In her new position, Stafford will focus on supervising and coordinating events and activations for the PRI Trade Show in downtown Indianapolis—this year set for December 8–10 at the Indiana Convention Center. Happenings include the Grand Opening Breakfast, PRI Happy Hour, Exhibitor Reception, EV Performance Zone and the Content Creation Zone. She will also help manage special events at the PRI Membership HQ in Speedway near Indianapolis. Stafford previously served as the executive assistant to PRI President Dr. Jamie Meyer since October 2021.

Prior to her time with PRI, Stafford spent time as a team coordinator for ERA Motorsport/IMSA, a driver assistant for CK Motorsports, an executive assistant for Harding Steinbrenner Racing, a Health and Physical Education teacher for Perry Township Schools, a customer service representative for Indianapolis Motor Speedway; and as a director of development for the Special Olympics.

As part of the announcement, Jillian Hoy has been named PRI’s new executive assistant. In her new role, Hoy will help Dr. Meyer oversee the PRI Trade Show, PRI Membership and PRI’s advocacy arm. Before joining PRI, Hoy held various positions in the racing industry, including as a senior account executive, a personal ticket consultant for NASCAR and an account executive for Phoenix Raceway. She also held positions with ClubCorp’s Skyline Club Indianapolis, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Tampa Bay Rowdies and more.

Bridgestone Aims to Commercialize Natural Rubber From Desert Shrubs by 2030

Bridgestone Americas has announced plans to establish commercial operations for planting and harvesting a woody desert shrub called guayule as a domestic source of natural rubber in America’s desert southwest. To date, Bridgestone has invested more than $100 million in guayule research as part of its effort to achieve carbon neutrality and 100% renewable tires by 2050.

As part of the new announcement, Bridgestone plans to invest an additional $42 million to establish commercial operations, with additional investment and expansion intended toward 2030. The company will also collaborate and partner with local farmers and Native American tribes to increase the capacity of up to 25,000 additional acres of farmland for planting and harvesting guayule at scale.

For more information, read the announcement here.

Honda Partners With LG to Build Battery Production Facility for EVs

LG Energy Solution (LGES) and Honda Motor Co. have announced an agreement to establish a joint venture company to produce lithium-ion batteries in the U.S. to power Honda and Acura EV models for the North American market. LGES and Honda will invest a total of $4.4 billion and establish a new JV plant, with a location set to be determined. The plant aims to have an annual production capacity of approximately 40GWh. Construction is expected to begin in early 2023 to enable mass production of advanced lithium-ion battery cells by the end of 2025.

Flying LizardFlying Lizard Motorsports Announces New HQ Set for Phoenix

Flying Lizard Motorsports—the sports car race team originally based in Sonoma, California—has announced plans to move its operations to a new 15,000-sq.-ft. building at Apex Motor Club in Phoenix. Currently under phase one of a two-phase program, Apex Motor Club is already a destination for privateer teams and public track day programs. The 2.27-mile circuit with a 3,400-ft. straightaway will eventually become a 4.20-mile, 22-turn, multiple-configuration circuit, sitting on Apex’s 280-acre property. Construction on the Flying Lizard Motorsports shop is set to be completed following the 2023 race season.

Kelford Cams Partners With MidwayPlus to Launch New B2B Online Storefront

Kelford Cams has announced its newly minted online B2B partnership with MidwayPlus is a software solution for aftermarket B2B businesses designed to empower manufacturers to efficiently sell products to aftermarket resellers within a secure transaction platform. 

Roadmaster Active Suspension Changes Name to RoadActive Suspension Inc.

Roadmaster Active Suspension (RAS), manufacturer and distributor of
aftermarket leaf spring upgrades for light-duty trucks, has changed its name to RoadActive Suspension (RAS). Roadmaster Active Suspension first entered the United States market in 1998 as founder Clive Schewitz sought a solution for light-duty pickup and van owners looking to reduce bounce and body roll.

Paul Lee Racing Adds Steven Cole to Team

Paul Lee Racing—the Orange, California-based race team headed by Paul Lee and Krista Baldwin—has announced industry executive Steven Cole will serve as the senior vice president of marketing and corporate partnerships and general manager.

Paul Lee Racing fields a nitro Funny Car driven by Lee, who is the CEO of Wharton Automotive Group, which includes McLeod Racing, FTI Performance and Silver Sport Transmissions (SST). The team also fields a McLeod Racing-sponsored Top Fuel car driven by Baldwin, Wharton’s creative director.

Cole has more than 25 years of experience in professional motorsports, including brand marketing plus B2B and B2C programs within NHRA, NASCAR and IndyCar. He also worked with high-profile race teams, including Stringer Performance, John Force Racing and more.

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