SEMA News—April 2011

Speedway Illustrated Honors SEMA Chairman-Elect Scooter Brothers

     
    SEMA Chairman-Elect Scooter Brothers (left) with its “Outstanding Contribution to Racing” award
Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated presented SEMA Chairman-Elect Scooter Brothers (left) with its “Outstanding Contribution to Racing” award to recognize his years of devoted service to the racing industry with various companies under the Comp Performance Group.
     
     
Paul “Scooter” Brothers, co-owner of the Comp Performance Group, received the “Outstanding Contribution to Racing” award presented by Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated magazine as part of the annual RPM Promoters Workshops in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The honor paid tribute to the years of service Brothers has devoted to the racing industry with the various companies under the Comp umbrella—particularly Comp Cams, a brand he helped shepherd to prominence in many forms of motorsports.

“Recently, the efforts of Scooter Brothers and the entire team at Comp Performance Group have been dedicated to the concept of maintaining a healthy race industry first,” said Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated publisher Karl Fredrickson. “It is our privilege at Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated to recognize Scooter and the entire team at Comp Performance Group.”

A drag racer in his youth, Brothers joked that he was “poisoned” by the racing bug early in life. A stint with Racing Head Service led to his involvement with Comp Cams in the ’80s. Since then, his name and face—as well as the Comp logo—have become familiar to drivers, mechanics, race organizers and his fellow captains of the motorsports industry.

Brothers, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, is no stranger to being honored by his motorsports peers. Among his past laurels was his 2005 induction into the SEMA Hall of Fame—the highest honor bestowed by SEMA.

 

Independent American Team Earns 2011 Dakar Rally Victory, Makes History

     Sue Mead became both the first U.S. female driver of record and first woman to achieve an automotive class win
With her first-place finish in the Open Production Class of the 2011 Dakar Rally, Sue Mead became both the first U.S. female driver of record and first woman to achieve an automotive class win.
     
     
According to 2011 Dakar Rally veteran Chris Collard, “It is considered one of the top five adventures in the automotive world, and on the mental bucket list of every red-blooded off-road racer.”

Recently, Collard served as media manager for the only independent American team to enter the 2011 Dakar Rally. Driving the Fabschool-General Tire Ford Raptor to a first-place finish in the Open Production Class and 40th overall was American auto journalist Sue Mead and team manager and co-driver Darren Skilton. With her victory, Mead became both the first U.S. female driver of record and the first woman to achieve an automotive class win. Joining Mead, Skilton and Collard in the history books were two team mechanics: Troy Johnson, owner of the FabSchool in Riverside, California, and Dan Moore, one of the FabSchool’s chief instructors.

The FabSchool’s Fall 2010 class of students performed the Raptor’s modifications, which included bumper fabrication as well as the installation of a fuel cell and rollcage, Deaver springs, King bypass shocks and an ARB air locker. Additional upfitting included Soltek LED lights, Odyssey batteries, Cobra Racing seats and Crow safety harnesses. XPEL protective film helped protect the paint and glass on the front clip and windshield. And finally, for help traversing the endless dunes of the Atacama Desert, the team utilized an Advanced Air Systems PowerTank for the dozens of times they needed to deflate and
re-inflate their tires for sand driving.

Clearly enjoying the victory, Collard told SEMA News that the team’s story isn’t finished yet.

“Why, I don’t know,” he said, “but for some twisted reason, our team is already planning for next year.”

 

Engine Raffle Supports Documentary of Drag-Racing History

   
A street/strip big-block Chevy engine will be raffled to support “Project 1320,” a documentary film series chronicling the history of drag racing.
     
     
The Quarter Mile Foundation and drag racing legend Joe Mondello and Joe Mondello Engines, in conjunction with World Products, have announced a joint venture to raffle a street/strip big-block Chevy engine to support the Foundation’s “Project 1320” documentary film program. The documentary film series will chronicle the history of drag racing and the parallel growth of the performance automotive aftermarket.

The engine, dubbed “Mondello’s Vintage Rat,” is designed to run on pump gas and will be complete (including ignition) from the carburetor to the oil pan and from the nose pulley/harmonic damper to the flexplate. It will be a 555ci Chevrolet (MK IV version), with a single four-barrel carburetor and will be designed for use with an automatic transmission.

“Joe proposed the engine raffle following the SEMA Show,” said Traci Hrudka, Foundation chairman. “The members of the Foundation’s board of directors welcomed the proposal, and we have been working with Joe regarding the engine and the mechanism for the raffle. This will be the first of a series of ‘Save Our Heritage’ engine raffles in conjunction with leading engine builders.”

The raffle tickets will be available at events where the Quarter Mile Foundation will have a presence, as well as the Foundation’s website (www.project1320.com), according to Hrudka. Tickets will be priced at $10 each or six for $50. The winner will be drawn at the Performance Racing Industry Show on December 3, 2011.

 

Fast Facts

     
     
     
Rushforth Wheels’ owner Melanie Rushforth was recognized as one of the 2010 Women of Influence Rising Stars by the Business Examiner, which annually recognizes the accomplishments and achievements of women through the South Sound business community in Tacoma, Washington. The honorees are recognized for making a difference in their professional and personal lives through accomplishments in their industry and community. In addition to being the chair for the military affairs and scholarship committees for Tacoma Rotary No. 8, Rushforth is a volunteer with the United Way of Pierce County. She founded the Tacoma City Kids Marathon, is a director of the Tacoma City Marathon and a member of the 6th Avenue Business District. Rushforth Wheels, Tacoma, WA; 253/306-3215.

Dynotech Engineering Service became an official partner of the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association’s Choice Product Giveaway Program. As part of the program, Dynotech driveshaft products will be featured at each of Goodguys’ 18 national events in 2011. In addition, attendees will have a chance to win a custom Dynotech drawnover mandrel steel driveshaft at the shows. Dynotech Engineering Service, Troy, MI; 248/362-2777.

The Lincoln Technical Institute was named the official technical school of the NHRA. The multi-year agreement provides Lincoln Technical Institute with a major presence at several NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series national events and commercial spots and in-show features during the ESPN2 HD coverage on elimination days as well as display space in the Manufacturers Midway and screen spots and features on the trackside jumbotron. NHRA, Glendora, CA; 626/963-7695.

     
     

Aeroquip Performance Products announced a new marketing campaign aimed at trade partners and consumers. Called “100 Proof,” the campaign will launch through promotional outlets in early spring of 2011, followed by advertising in key consumer and trade media channels throughout the year. The message is supported with graphics designed to remind Aeroquip dealers and distributors about the brand’s 100% “proof” testing policy, and it will be expanded with advertising and sales tools to penetrate the consumer and distribution base and extend retention across the enthusiast marketplace. Aeroquip is an Eaton company and the only actual manufacturer of both hose and fittings in the performance channel. For more information, visit www.eaton.com/aeroquipperformance.

Eastern Catalytic named Adam Satzman the company’s catalog/data manager. Satzman will assist in company-related decisions regarding corporate acquisition of software- and IT-related products, and he will become acting spokesperson for Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association-related publications as well as technical service advisor. Prior to joining Eastern Catalytic, Satzman was the catalog specialist and technical advisor for GMB North America. Eastern Catalytic, Langhorne, PA; 215/702-3600.

Lokar Performance Products was named the preferred shifter of the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association. Founded in 1988 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Lokar has long been a signature marketing partner of Goodguys. This year, the company’s trailer will be seen at select Goodguys events, and the company also announced its return to participate in the Choice Product Giveaway Program. Lokar Performance Products, Knoxville, TN; 877/469-7440.

The team from CWR Electronics will participate in the Relay for Life 2011—an event that raises money to fight cancer. This marks the second year in a row that the company will participate in the event; the team was the top fundraising team in 2010, bringing in a total of $20,811.54. For 2011, the team will camp out and take turns walking around a track from 12:00 p.m. Saturday, May 14, until 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 15. To find out how you can help the CWR team, e-mail TeamCWR@cwrelectronics.com.

     
     
Victory Junction launched a brand-new fanpage on Facebook. The charity organization was built in honor of Adam Petty and provides life-changing experiences for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illness. Victory Junction, along with Childhelp, is supported by SEMA’s charity committee, SEMA Cares.

The American International Automobile Dealers Association named Pennsylvania auto dealer Jim Smail as its new 2011 chairman. Smail is the president of the Smail Auto Group, which operates five international nameplate franchises, including Acura, Honda, Kia, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz. Smail has served as chairman of the Honda National Dealer Advisory Board, is the current chairman of the Acura National Dealer Advisory Board, is on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Automotive Association and is on the board of directors and is past president of the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association.

JMPR Public Relations Inc. was selected as the agency of record for Pep Boys. JMPR will provide PR outreach and media initiatives for the company and has recently launched a media relations program that highlights Pep Boys’ overall business profile and its upcoming 90th anniversary celebration. JMPR will also work with individual locations to promote full-service vehicle maintenance and repair capabilities. JMPR Public Relations, Woodland Hills, CA; 818/992-4353.

Lee Kadrich, vice president of government affairs and trade for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), has retired after 29 years. Kadrich served as staff liaison to the AAIA government affairs committee and as executive director of two AAIA membership segments, the Auto International Association (AIA) and the Heavy Duty Distribution Association. Kadrich received the AIA Person of the Year Award in 2006.

     
   


Esther Berg 

     
Esther Berg was hired by The Marx Group as marketing coordinator. In her new role, Berg will help The Marx Group in its internal marketing, social media and website efforts. The company announced that she will also actively participate in client brainstorming meetings to help generate new ideas and support the agency’s public relations and social media outreach on behalf of clients. The Marx Group, San Rafael, CA; 415/453-0844.

Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. hired Marty Furman as its COO to manage all functional departments of the company, including technical services, sales, marketing and pricing. Furman has extensive management experience with well-known companies, including Procter & Gamble, Avery Dennison and Trojan Battery Co. His senior executive responsibilities over the years have included finance, business development, marketing, sales, product development, plant management, manufacturing and engineering. Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp., Cypress, CA; 714/236-2080. 

Red Line Synthetic Oil Corp. has partnered with the Al-Anabi Racing team for the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season. Red Line Oil will provide oil and lubricants for the Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel entries driven by Del Worsham and 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon. Red Line Synthetic, Benicia, CA; 707/745-6100.

AutoStream announced that the company experienced a record month in 2010, with 5,700,000 views of “Fastlane Daily” current and back catalog of shows. The company also recently experienced a historic milestone: Since its creation in 2007, “Fastlane Daily” has served 102,000,000 views through YouTube alone. AutoStream, Santa Monica, CA.

     
   

 
Hun Oloi

     
WyoTech–Laramie automotive technician graduate Hun Oloi was selected as the winner of the school’s 2010 Dream Award, which recognizes a graduate who has completed his/her education while overcoming extraordinary challenges. Oloi overcame language and cultural barriers, served the local community and started a successful career in the automotive industry following his graduation from WyoTech. Oloi is currently employed as an automotive technician by Kendall Toyota in Anchorage, Alaska. As a Dream Award winner, he received a $2,500 scholarship to pursue advanced programs in his field of study. WyoTech–Laramie, Laramie, WY; 307/742-3776.

The Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia announced that the 2011 Philadelphia Auto Show (January 29–February 6) experienced a 28.4% increase in attendance for the show’s opening weekend, when compared to the 2010 event. The show’s weekend attendance hit 65,984, marking the event’s third-largest opening weekend in its 109-year history.

Federated Auto Parts will sponsor the Ken Schrader Racing ARCA team in 2011. The Federated car will be driven by Tom Hessert, who finished third in the final ARCA points standings with one win, 10 top-five finishes and 15 top-10 finishes.

HRE Performance Wheels opened a European division in Stuttgart, Germany. HRE GmbH will serve enthusiasts, dealers and vehicle manufacturers in the European Union, North Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Russia. The European office will have custom wheels available and stock popular wheel models in sizes and fitments for a variety of European cars, including Porsche, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari. The effort will be led by Alex Sittel, an automotive industry veteran who has spent his entire career in the industry. HRE Performance Wheels, Vista, CA; 760/598-1960.

     
     
Optima Batteries will return as the official battery of the World Challenge Championships and Sports Car Wars for the 2011 season, marking the third straight year that Optima Batteries signed on to be an official World Challenge sponsor. All World Challenge racecars will be outfitted with the Optima brand. As it did during the 2010 season, Optima will also provide its Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award, presented to the driver who makes up the most positions on the run down to Turn 1. Optima Batteries, Milwaukee, WI; 414/524-3700.

The NMCA Flowmaster Muscle Car Nationals has added the Maryland International Raceway in Mechanicsville, Maryland, to its 2011 schedule. The event is scheduled for June 3–5 and will also include the Late-Model Hemi Shootout featuring six drag racing classes and show categories.

Meyer Distributing Inc. added a new location in Memphis, Tennessee. The new cross-dock will have a direct feed from Meyer’s distribution center in Jasper, Indiana. Meyer will now provide early-morning route delivery to the Memphis metro area four days per week. Meyer Distributing, Jasper, IN; 800-Meyer-USA.

Zero Motorcycles announced its plans to open a new manufacturing facility alongside its corporate headquarters in Santa Cruz, California. The new facility will more than double the company’s production capacity. Renovations began in early 2011, and the company also announced plans to add 25 employees by mid-2011. 

 

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