The race to determine the title of "Fastest Street Car in America" is back as HOT ROD Drag Week 2023, Presented by Gear Vendors Overdrive, returns to premier tracks in four Southeast cities Sunday, September 17 through Friday, September 22.
The competition to find the ultimate street-legal drag car, HOT ROD Drag Week puts competitors through five days of drag racing, requiring racers to drive their vehicles on a specified route from city to city, upward of 1,000 miles, while securing the quickest possible elapsed time. During the competition, drivers provide photographic evidence to prove they have adhered to the prescribed route. Some of the nation's top racers participate in Drag Week each year, and it's not uncommon for competitors to band together to help each other get through the week.
2023 HOT ROD Drag Week Schedule:
- Tech inspection, registration, test 'n' tune - Sunday, September 17
- Darlington Dragway (Hartsville, South Carolina) - 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time for registration, tech inspection and test 'n' tune (tech open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., test 'n' tune begins at 2:00 p.m.)
- Day 1 racing action-packed Monday, September 18
- Darlington Dragway (Hartsville, Sout Carolina) - Gates open 7:30 a.m. local time, racing hours 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time.
- Day 2 racing - Tuesday, September 19
- Rockingham Dragway (Rockingham, North Carolina) - Gates open 7:30 a.m. local time, racing hours 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time.
- Day 3 racing - Wednesday, September 20
- Bristol Dragway (Bristol, Tennessee) - Gates open 7:30 a.m. local time, racing hours 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time.
- Day 4 racing - Thursday, September 21
- Carolina Dragway (Aiken, South Carolina) - Gates open 7:30 a.m. local time, racing hours 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time.
- Day 5 racing (finals) - Friday, September 22
- Darlington Dragway (Hartsville, South Carolina) - Gates open 7:30 a.m. local time, racing hours from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time, followed by awards.
For more information, visit motortrend.com/events/hot-rod-drag-week.
Chevrolet Debuts Silverado HD ZR2
Chevrolet has introduced the '24 Silverado HD ZR2--the brand’s flagship heavy-duty off-roader--and '24 Silverado HD ZR2 Bison. Chevrolet will soon offer a trio of flagship, off-road performance pickup trucks for anyone ready to explore the trails in Colorado ZR2, Silverado 1500 ZR2 and the first-ever Silverado HD ZR2.
Both the HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison bring race-proven technologies and enhanced off-road capability to the refreshed '24 Silverado HD lineup, with the specialized ZR2 Bison featuring equipment from off-road aftermarket manufacturer American Expedition Vehicles.
Offered exclusively in the 2500 Crew Cab configuration--with the standard 6.6L gasoline engine or available 6.6L Duramax Turbo-Diesel--the Silverado HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison leverage Chevrolet's off-road racing success with a defined set of upgrades for crawling trails, tackling tough terrain and towing.
As for capability, the max payload for the Silverado HD ZR2 is 3,397 lbs. (gas engine), while the max trailering rating is 18,500 lbs. when equipped with the available Duramax Turbo-Diesel.
The HD ZR2's suspension is raised approximately 1.5 in., front and rear, compared to other Silverado HD 4WD models. HD ZR2 also includes a new Off-Road Mode. When engaged, it adjusts various vehicle calibrations, such as the anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control, to optimize their performance for off-road driving. In addition, Off-Road Mode alters throttle progression and transmission shifts, and the locking rear axle does not have a speed limitation.
The HD ZR2 and ZR2 Bison also feature the '24 Silverado HD lineup's redesigned interior. Built for work-ready functionality and next-level technology integration, the cabin features a blend of premium materials and off-road prowess, as found in the Silverado 1500 ZR2. The interior's dark trim accents complement the Jet Black and Graystone leather-appointed surfaces.
The instrument panel houses a 13.4-in.-diagonal infotainment screen and 12.3-in.-diagonal configurable driver information center that become the focal points of the driver's command center. Smart, off-road technology includes an available 15-in. head-up display with an off-road inclinometer and HD Surround Vision7 for the Silverado HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison.
Production of the '24 Chevrolet Silverado HD ZR2 and ZR2 Bison begins later this summer, at General Motors' Flint Assembly plant in Michigan. Pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.
Ford Mustang Continues as World's Best-Selling Sports Car Over the Last 10 Years Combined
Over the last 10 years combined, Ford Mustang--which is celebrating its 59th birthday--is the world's best-selling sports car, according to Ford analysis of registration data from S&P Global Mobility.
According to Ford internal data, the United States remains home to the strongest demand for Mustang representing 78% of global sales. Other markets that saw growth in Mustang sales in 2022 include Germany, up 17%; Britain, up 14.4%; Switzerland, up 14.9%; and the Middle East, up 7.4%.
First Retail Production '24 Corvette E-Ray Raises $1.1 Million for DonorsChoose at Barrett-Jackson
The first ever, electrified '24 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray raised $1.1 million for education nonprofit DonorsChoose at the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction on April 15. Corvette Executive Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter was on hand to generate excitement and encourage bids as the E-Ray crossed the block last Saturday afternoon.
Founded in 2000 with the goal of making it easy for anyone to provide resources to teachers, DonorsChoose has now fulfilled more than two and a half million classroom projects by connecting donors directly with requests from educators. Rick Hendrick, chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group and owner of 14-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports, cast the winning bid of $1.1 million. One-hundred percent of this sale price will assist DonorsChoose in continuing to meet the needs of public schools in low-income communities.
Powered by a 6.2L small-block V8 in the rear and an electric motor on the front axle, the first all-wheel drive Corvette E-Ray produces a combined 655 hp. According to Chevrolet, this is the quickest Corvette in history, completing 0-60 mph runs in 2.5 seconds.
Prior to the sale of the '24 Corvette E-Ray, Chevrolet also auctioned off first retail production models of the '20 Corvette Stingray and the '23 Corvette Z06. Together, these vehicles bring the total amount of money raised for charity by eighth generation Corvettes at Barrett-Jackson auctions to $9.1 million.
Turn 14 Distribution Ultimate Easter Jeep Safari Experience Marks Entry Into Jeep-Focused Activations
In its inaugural year, the Turn 14 Distribution Ultimate Easter Jeep Safari Experience presented by ARP saw 40 invitees with 19 vehicles conquer a one-of-a-kind adventure in Moab, Utah. Invited guests spent the day navigating the tracks, altitude and obstacles on the Metal Masher trail. The experience included an Oasis Pop-Up Lunch presented by Mishimoto featuring heated shelter in inflatable tents, various seating options, hot chef-prepared food and beverages. Supporting partners included MBRP Exhaust, PowerStop Brakes and Torrix Off-Road. This experience marks Turn 14 Distribution's first activation at
Easter Jeep Safari week in Moab, but there are plans for more activations in subsequent years.
RNR Tire Express to Gift a Record $100,000 in Seventh Annual Mother's Day Giveaway
RNR Tire Express has officially opened the window for nominations in what promises to be their largest Mother's Day Giveaway in franchise history. Those wishing to apply need only be a mother over the age of 18, and have until midnight on Saturday, May 13, to submit for a chance at a prize pool valued at more than $100,000. All applicants will also be entered to win the grand prize, a new Jeep Renegade.
This year, 114 franchise locations across the country will participate, offering free sets of tires and accessories to residents of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Rental Concepts, a franchise partner of the RNR brand, will give away a new Buick Encore to a select winner in their region, intended to further honor and reward the tireless sacrifices made by mothers every day.
Winner(s) will be announced and contacted on or before Saturday, May 20. For more information on the RNR Tire Express Mother's Day Giveaway, visit www.rnrtires.com/mom.
Honda Celebrates Grand Opening of New Facility at Alabama Auto Plant for Accessory Packages
American Honda Motor Co. Inc. (AHM) celebrated the opening of its new $16 million, 66,000-sq.-ft. post-production option (PPO) facility located on the campus of Honda's Alabama Auto Plant (AAP). The new facility serves as a hub for the installation of a series of accessory option packages for vehicles produced at AAP and, according to Honda, will allow the company to better serve its customers with more product options. Honda marked the grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony joined by local officials, business partners, key executives, plant leaders and associates.
The PPO program began in late 2020 with the installation of accessory packages for the redesigned '21 Honda Ridgeline, including the Honda Performance Development (HPD) package, as well as the Utility, Function, and Function + packages. As a proof of concept, the program was initially housed in the Alabama Industrial Training (AIDT) Center, the workforce training center utilized by AAP nearby the Lincoln plant.
With the new PPO facility, Honda can increase customization operations, expand offerings to include accessory packages for the all-new '23 Honda Pilot and Pilot TrailSport, and eventually offer installation of single-item accessories to dealers.
Honda originally located its first PPO facility at the Alabama Auto Plant to meet increased demand for customization of light-truck models, especially pickups. The Lincoln factory is the sole manufacturer of the Honda Ridgeline truck, Passport SUV, Pilot SUV and Odyssey minivan.
Northwood Introduces New Aftermarket Professional Designation
Northwood University and the University of the Aftermarket are introducing a new professional designation for executives in the automotive industry.
"The SPAAP designation is a piece of the University of Aftermarket Executive Development series and stands for Specialty AAP, our highest-level distinction," explained Dr. Thomas Litzinger, executive director of the University of the Aftermarket and Northwood University professor. "It is designed for industry executives who want to take the next step in their educational journey by participating in rigorous master's-level coursework."
Currently, the University of the Aftermarket, through Northwood University, delivers online courses for industry professionals to earn continuing education units (CEUs) to obtain special industry designations, including AAP, ACP and MAAP.
Litzinger noted the SPAAP designation will set the new standard for excellence in education for the industry and will be highly sought after by leading executives.
"This designation is important to our industry because it fosters an environment of continuous learning, which will contribute to our competitive advantage," he added. "Most elements of our organizational culture can be enhanced through education."
Litzinger said the development of the SPAAP designation indicates the University of the Aftermarket's dedication to not just the automotive aftermarket, but also to continuous education and the empowerment of the human condition.
Industry professionals can email Litzinger at email@example.com, or James O’Dell, assistant director of aftermarket education, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to register for this newest designation.
Meyer Distributing Announces Goldsboro, North Carolina, location
Meyer Distributing Inc. has announced the addition of its Goldsboro, North Carolina, cross-dock. The cross-dock will have a direct feed from Meyer's Northeast distribution hub, which houses a large inventory of automotive accessories, crash parts and RV parts. Meyer Distributing has numerous strategically positioned warehousing facilities and serves thousands of customers nationwide via Meyer Logistics direct ship.
Bring a Trailer Partners Partners With Michelin and BFGoodrich Tires
Bring a Trailer (BaT) has announced the beginning of a new partnership between BaT, Michelin and BFGoodrich to create product education materials, brand engagement and charitable promotions, the companies announced. According to BaT, the full extent of the collaboration is still developing; however, Michelin has granted BaT special access to its historical archive, going all the way back to the early days of the automobile.
GM Celebrates Top Global Suppliers at 31st Annual Supplier of the Year Event
General Motors celebrated its top global suppliers during its annual Supplier of the Year event held in San Antonio, Texas. In total, 121 suppliers were recognized at the event, with 105 suppliers receiving a Supplier of the Year award, 14 suppliers receiving an Overdrive award and two suppliers receiving both Supplier of the Year and Overdrive awards. Collectively, the awarded suppliers represented 17 countries.
Each year, the Supplier of the Year and Overdrive award recipients are selected by a global, cross-functional GM team for their performance in business and cultural criteria, including quality, launch, supply chain, total enterprise cost, innovation and engineering, communication and transparency and safety.
The Supplier of the Year award recognizes distinguished global suppliers that exceed GM's requirements, in turn providing GM customers with innovative technologies and among the highest quality in the automotive industry.
The Overdrive award was first presented in 2012 and is a distinction reserved for suppliers who display outstanding achievement across the global purchasing and supply-chain organization's key priorities. These include sustainability, innovation, relationships, total enterprise cost, launch excellence and safety.
The honorees for 2022 include six certified diverse suppliers recognized as a Supplier of the Year. Click here for a complete list of honorees.
Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence Awards $1.5 Million in Cash
Outstanding U.S. public high school skilled trades teachers can now apply for a total of $1.5 million in cash prizes. Since 2017 more than $6 million has been awarded to more than 100 skilled trades teachers and their programs through the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. The deadline to apply for the 2023 prize is Friday, May 5.
This year the total amount of cash prizes will jump from $1.25 million to $1.5 million. The number of winners will increase from 20 to 25. Winners will be announced in October. The mission of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is to increase understanding, support and investment in skilled trades education in U.S. public high schools. The prize is its flagship program.
The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was started in 2017 by Harbor Freight Tools owner and founder Eric Smidt. The prize recognizes outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools and the valuable work of teachers who inspire students to learn a trade that prepares them for life after graduation.
The five grand prize winners will receive $100,000 each, with $30,000 going to the teacher and $70,000 going to their program. Twenty additional prize winners will each win $50,000, with $15,000 going to the teacher and $35,000 going to their program. Teachers whose school, district and/or state policy prohibits receipt of the individual portion of prize earnings are eligible to apply on behalf of their school’s skilled trades program.
Alps Alpine Welcomes Mike Kenhard as CTO and Vice President of Engineering
Alps Alpine North America Inc. has hired Mike Kenhard as the chief technical officer and vice president of engineering at the headquarters location in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Kenhard brings an extensive background in the automotive industry and a proven history of leading various teams through key company projects and initiatives. Throughout his career, Kenhard has championed growth and success both on a divisional and company-wide basis, using his skills as an effective communicator, manager and strategic planner to promote positive change and desired company results. Kenhard will oversee all engineering at Alps Alpine North America.
Trevor Worthington, Ford Blue Product Chief, to Retire After 38 Years
Trevor Worthington, who for the past year has led vehicle programs for Ford Blue's gas-powered and hybrid vehicles, is retiring from the company effective April 28. Worthington, a corporate officer, joined Ford in 1985 as part of the regional product-planning team in Australia. He's led major development and strategy work in Asia Pacific, including in China and Australia, and North America. Most recently, Worthington oversaw development of the all-new Super Duty and Ranger Raptor trucks and Bronco Raptor SUV.
A racing fan who grew up watching Ford Falcons on tracks in Australia, Worthington also led product development for Ford Performance. He played an important role in orchestrating a strategy and cycle plan for Ford Performance Racing, which includes a return to Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing, and a return to Le Mans with the Mustang GT3.
From 2008 to 2019, Worthington helped deliver the first wave of Ford's global products to Asia Pacific. He also led strategic development and introduction of key nameplates in China and elsewhere, including the popular Territory midsize SUV. Worthington plans to retire back home in Melbourne, not far from where he started his career. His successor will be the subject of a future announcement.
AmericanMuscle to Host Charity Auto Show
AmericanMuscle (AM) has announced May 20 as the date of its charity auto show to be held at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania. Having raised more than $400,000 to date, AM continues to support critically ill children via Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware and Susquehanna Valley. Gates will open at 9:00 a.m. with show hours from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In the event of rain, the show will be held the following day, May 21.
AM invites the community to get involved by registering their modded muscle car and signing up for one of the show's premium experiences. These include the Make-A-Wish opening ceremony parade, Mickey Thompson burnout competition and Pypes revving competition. Showgoers can also take advantage of AM's VIP Parking with 100% of the proceeds donated to Make-A-Wish. Regular registration is being offered at a discounted rate up until May 19.
Clubs are welcome to participate as a group. Spectator parking will be available on the day of the event for $10 per vehicle. For more information, visit www.americanmuscle.com/autoshow2023.html.
onX Offroad Kicks-Off "onX Offroad Build Challenge" Series
onX Offroad has published the first episode in its new "onX Offroad Build Challenge" content series. Over the next few months, three teams will battle head-to-head to buy and build 4x4s using only $15,000 and their skills, ingenuity and resourcefulness to transform stock vehicles into rigs that will be put to the test on the most challenging off-road trails in America. Viewers can vote on their favorite team and vehicle from the series; the winner will get to represent onX Offroad on MotorTrends' 2023 Ultimate Adventure.
In the first episode of the series, three teams comprised of some of the best 4x4 content
creators converge in Moab, Utah, for their first challenge: navigating the Moab Rim Trail. The teams tackle the trail in a variety of stock vehicles, including a Toyota Land Cruiser, Dodge Ramcharger and a Chevy S10, all in a bid to impress off-road expert Fred Williams and prove their team is off to the best start.
The series is available exclusively on the onX Offroad YouTube channel, with new episodes airing every week.
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