People Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: Gold Eagle Co. Announces GRIDLIFE Festival Tour Participation and Sponsorship

Gold Eagle Co.Gold Eagle Company, manufacturer of STA-BIL and 303 products, has announced a continuation of its long-time partnership with the GRIDLIFE Festival Tour and official sponsorship of TrackBattle—the event’s time-attack class. STA-BIL is designated for 2023 as GRIDLIFE’s official performance chemicals and 303 is the event’s official appearance products line.

GRIDLIFE’s first festival event was held March 31–April 2 at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina. Both STA-BIL and 303 brands were well represented at the opening festival event, providing merchandise and swag for attendees with booths in the pro paddock area.

GRIDLIFE’s TrackBattle is a Time Attack competition against the clock to see which cars and teams are the fastest for the weekend for both advanced and expert drivers. Open to all makes, models and drivetrains from AWD to FWD, several classes compete under limited rules, including Sundae Cup, Falken ClubTR, Street, StreetGT, StreetMOD, TrackMOD and Unlimited.

The remaining six festivals include: Watkins Glen (April 28–30); Midwest Festival in South Haven, Michigan (June 2–4); the Mid-Ohio Meet (August 4–6) in Lexington, Ohio; Circuit Legends in Salisbury, Connecticut at Lime Rock Park (August 18–20); and the final Laguna Festival in Salinas, California at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (October 20–22). Additionally, STA-BIL and 303 have three sponsored drivers who will be attending multiple festival stops throughout the year: Kelsey Rowlings, Formula DRIFT Pro Spec Driver; Feras Qartoumy, Unlimited Time Attack driver; and Kal Fortner, Street Mod Time Attack driver.

LIQUI MOLY and Parts Canada Join Forces

LIQUI MOLYLIQUI MOLY has partnered with Parts Canada, one of the largest distributors of powersports parts and accessories in Canada. This partnership aims to expand the availability and accessibility of LIQUI MOLY’s products in the Canadian market. Parts Canada will distribute LIQUI MOLY’s complete range of powersports products, including motor oils, additives and service products, to its network of dealers and retailers across the country.

DENSO Announces Sponsorship of Women in Auto Care

DENSO has joined Women in Auto Care as a corporate sponsor. The move builds on DENSO's longstanding support for organizations and initiatives that promote the advancement of women in industry.

Women in Auto Care is dedicated to connecting, empowering and mentoring women in the global industry that manufactures, distributes and sells vehicle parts and components, as well as services and repairs for every class of car and truck on the road today. Through conferences, networking, scholarships, education, awards and other programs, the organization provides opportunities, education and career leadership to women in the industry. The group is part of the Auto Care Association.

The women of DENSO include award-winning leaders in their own fields of expertise. Among them is industrial engineer Hannah Pearl, who was recently named a 2023 Women MAKE Awards Emerging Leader by the Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. Pearl is a leader in manufacturing processes and on-the-job safety at DENSO's thermal manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, Michigan. She also chairs the DENSO Women's Network, a business resource group at the site.

WinLight Bets Announces Million-Dollar Spring Fling Official Fan Engagement Partnership

After a successful official launch in February, WinLight Bets’ intuitive gambling experience features a fan-engagement interface designed to let drag-racing fans in on the betting action with free-to-play, predictive and fast live betting—as fast as every 45 seconds with a chance at actual monetary winnings. More than 500 of the top bracket racers went to The Strip in Las Vegas from April 4–8 for the annual Spring Fling Million.

Founded by the late Kyle Siepel and bracket racer Peter Biondo, the seven-figure West Coast event draws the biggest industry sponsors and highest car counts seen in bracket racing annually. WinLight Bets allows fans to play along in real-time, whether in person at the event or while watching live feed coverage. Additionally, for those fans in person at The Strip, Founder and CEO Rex Simmermaker and his team will have a full fan experience with a drag race-themed casino, sportsbook and table games.

For more information, visit

VP Racing Announces a New Partnership With the National Auto Sports Association

VP Racing Fuels Inc. has announced a new partnership with the National Auto Sports Association (NASA). With this association, VP Racing is the official fuel, official motor oil and official coolant of NASA. NASA members can take advantage of exclusive discounts on VP Racing products as part of a member benefits program effective immediately. In the coming weeks, NASA and VP Racing will announce contingency packages for racing and benefits for NASA instructors.

MAVTV to Air Friday Night Drive-In Presented by General Tire

MAVTV Motorsports Network is adding a lineup of weekly programming featuring racing documentaries and films. Every Friday night, motorsports fans can enjoy off-script, real stories of drivers and a curated collection of films about car culture, motorcycles and racing. “Friday Night Drive-In,” presented by General Tire, will air on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. (EDT/PDT) on MAVTV Motorsports Network.

“Friday Night Drive-In” premiered April 7 with “Blink of an Eye,” a documentary film that chronicled Michael Waltrip's experience and career as a NASCAR driver, including his friendship with Dale Earnhardt and the events leading up to Earnhardt’s tragic death.

Autotrader Names Best New Cars for 2023

’23 Kia Sportage

Autotrader has compiled a list of the Best New Cars for 2023. The Autotrader editorial team examined the new crop of cars available for sale as ’23 models and picked the 11 best for consideration. This year’s list includes one pure electric (EV) and four hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles (HEVs), joined by six traditional gasoline internal combustion engine (ICE) models.

Because there are many new or redesigned vehicles for 2023, Autotrader focused on those available for purchase within the next nine months, and included vehicles offering either significant value or groundbreaking in some other way. To qualify for Autotrader’s list, the base model of a vehicle had to start below $110,000.

1. ’23 Acura Integra
2. ’23 BMW 740i/760i xDrive
3. ’23 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
4. ’23 Genesis GV60
5. ’23 Honda Civic Type R
6. ’23 Honda CR-V
7. ’23 Hyundai Palisade
8. ’23 Kia Sportage
9. ’23 Nissan Z
10. ’23 Toyota GR Corolla
11. ’23 Toyota Prius

Hankook Tire Completes First Leg of Cross-Country EV Tour in Volkswagen ID.4

HankookHankook Tire has successfully completed the first leg of a cross-country tour in the all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 on Hankook iON AS evo and iON i*cept SUV. Guinness World Records holder Rainer Zietlow began the journey in Homer, Alaska’s southernmost road network point on March 23. On April 4, Rainer and his team arrived in Deadhorse, Alaska, located at the end of the Dalton Highway on Alaska’s north coast. This marks the first time that an electric vehicle (EV) has reached the northernmost point of the U.S. Highway System by overland driving in spring with temperatures around -10°F.

Zietlow, along with photographer Derek Collins, plans to travel in total 8,500 miles in the Challenge4 Volkswagen ID.4 equipped with Hankook’s EV-specific iON AS evo and iON i*cept SUV. For the second and final portion of the tour, the team will drive the 7,500 miles back to Key West, Florida, using only existing power sources, available charging infrastructure and without any additional vehicle support.

As part of its cross-country trip, the Challenge4 team will make various stops at Hankook Tire locations, including its U.S. tire manufacturing facility in Clarksville, Tennessee. The team is projected to reach its final destination and return to Key West on May 6. The project can be followed through pictures, videos and a live tracker at

Bridgestone Develops Tire Using 75% Recycled and Renewable Materials

BridgestoneBridgestone Americas has announced it has produced a run of demonstration tires made with 75% recycled and renewable materials, including synthetic rubber made with recycled plastics and natural rubber harvested from desert shrubs grown domestically in the Arizona desert. The company has completed production of 200 demonstration tires and is pursuing joint evaluation with automakers for use on the next generation of electrified SUVs and crossovers (CUVs).

The company’s commitment to its goal of using 100% sustainable materials in its products by 2050 was underscored in remarks by Bridgestone Global CEO Shuichi Ishibashi during a February 16 briefing with media and industry analysts in Tokyo, where Bridgestone also announced that it is pursuing a tire design utilizing 90% recycled and renewable materials for passenger cars.

Designed and engineered at Bridgestone’s Americas Technology Center in Akron, Ohio, the new tires were produced at the company's Aiken County Passenger/Light Truck Radial Tire Plant in Graniteville, South Carolina. The Aiken plant is the first tire manufacturing facility in America to earn International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS certification for transparency and traceability of sustainable raw materials including bio, bio-circular and circular-based material. Aiken also operates an on-site, eight-acre solar array that provides renewable energy to aid in powering the plant's manufacturing operations.

The tires contain a multitude of materials derived from recycled and biobased feedstocks. According to Bridgestone, the new tire is the first street tire to utilize natural rubber derived from the guayule desert shrub cultivated at Bridgestone’s guayule R&D agricultural facility in Eloy, Arizona. Bridgestone has spent more than 10 years and more than $100 million on the research and development of guayule as an alternative to imported natural rubber from the Hevea Brasiliensis tree grown mainly in Southeast Asia.

Guayule is part of Bridgestone’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality and make tires from 100% sustainable materials by 2050. The company is targeting commercial production of guayule-derived natural rubber by the end of the decade.

Goodguys Crowns the 2023 Meguiar’s Street Rod d’Elegance

GoodguysThe Goodguys Rod & Custom Association crowned its first top-12 winner of year by naming Lori Mabe’s ’34 Plymouth Sedan as the 2023 Meguiar’s Street Rod d’Elegance winner. This award goes to a street rod that exemplifies sophisticated styling with excellence in build quality and overall elegance. Mabe’s street rod was built by Roseville Rod & Custom of Roseville, California. They fabricated custom running boards, the roof insert, reshaped the rear fenders, bumper pans and reimagined the spare-tire mount as the fuel filler before finishing the car in Berkley Gray, selected from a ’41 Cadillac catalog.

A custom Roadster Shop Chassis provides a smooth riding foundation to handle the power from a Chevrolet Performance LS3 topped with dual throttle bodies from Autotrend EFI with Holley EFI management. The interior features custom knobs with pearl inlays, art deco dome light fixtures, restored gauges and stitch work by Mel Silva using maroon Relicate leather. The rear seat folds forward to reveal cocktail supplies for an evening picnic.

Goodguys will crown 11 more vehicles throughout the 2023 season that include Muscle Car, Street Machine, Truck of the Year and other top categories for classic vehicles.

Universal Technical Institute Hires Tracy Lorenz

Tracy Lorenz
Tracy Lorenz

Universal Technical Institute Inc. (UTI) has announced the appointment of Tracy Lorenz as president of the UTI division, which is comprised of the company’s transportation, skilled trades and energy offerings. Lorenz most recently served as the president and CEO of Triumph Education, where she grew revenue dramatically during her six years leading the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Prior to that, Lorenz spent nine years at Apollo Education Group in various roles including as president of Western International University.

The Martelli Brothers Announce Unlimited Off-Road Racing Series

The Martelli Brothers have announced that they have structured a brand-new, desert off-road racing organization called “Unlimited Off-Road Racing.” The new series will include the historic Parker 400, BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 and California 300 races, and host all desert classes, including youth, UTVs, motorcycles, cars and trucks. The Parker 400 will take place in January 2024, followed by the Mint 400 in March and the California 300 in October.

The new series will also feature the next evolution of the UTV World Championship, which will be determined by points accumulated at all three events. Unlimited Off-Road Racing will offer teams the opportunity to compete for cash, prizes and a prestigious points championship across three of the most challenging and distinguished desert races in the sport. The announcement comes on the heels of the organization’s biggest Mint 400 race and event in recent history.

The newly added Parker 400 race will feature multiple days of pre-running and three days of racing. The Martelli Brothers recently met with Parker Mayor Hartless, La Paz County Supervisors Plunkett and Minor, Police Chief Bailey, Public Works Director Ziegler, Clerk Putnam, as well as Chamber of Commerce Director Newton to begin to map out the evolution of the race and events. Complete details on the Unlimited Off-Road Racing series will be forthcoming.

Turn 14 Distribution Announces Pit+Paddock as Official Marketing Agency

Turn 14By officially acknowledging its working relationship with Pit+Paddock, Turn 14 Distribution announced that it has significantly widened its marketing potential, both in scope and reach. According to company leadership, the relationship enables Turn 14 Distribution to hone its focus on supporting its own nationwide growth within the automotive aftermarket industry. By approaching this transition with a calculated measure over the last two years via industry trade shows, event activations and car builds, Pit+Paddock and Turn 14 Distribution have worked toward a seamless crossover. Pit+Paddock is a creative facilitator; the agency’s industry position opens each of Turn 14 Distribution's customers’ doors to more immersive, organic and impactful marketing opportunities, including with Pit+Paddock’s managed athlete Dai Yoshihara.

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