SEMA eNews Vol. 13, No. 51, December 23, 2010

Movers & Shakers: Xydias Named Chairman of NHRA Museum Board; Driver Keith Rocco Honored for Record-Breaking Season

  Alex Xydias
  Industry icon and So-Cal Speed Shop founder Alex Xydias was named the chairman of the board for the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.

Xydias Named Chairman of NHRA Museum Board
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum of Pomona, California, named industry icon and SO-CAL Speed Shop founder Alex Xydias as the museum’s chairman of the board. He previously served as a board member since the museum opened in 1998. In 1946, Xydias opened the SO-CAL Speed Shop, the first hot rod parts store in Burbank, California, and established the SO-CAL Speed Shop Racing Team, which would go on to receive many accolades. The team was responsible for The SO-CAL Special Streamliner, one of the first hot rods to go more than 200 mph. In 1982, Xydias was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame and in 2008, received the notable Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1997, Xydias and celebrity hot rod builder Pete Chapouris partnered to revive the SO-CAL Speed Shop name and continue its legacy.

Keith Rocco Honored for Record-Breaking Season

Following one of the most successful seasons in the history of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, Keith Rocco was honored as the national champion at the annual awards banquet in Charlotte, North Carolina, earlier this month. The 25-year-old Rocco had 21 wins among the three Connecticut short tracks, set a track record with nine wins at Stafford Motor Speedway, posted two wins at Thompson International Speedway and his 21 wins were second in the nation to Craig Preble (22). Rocco's 39 top-five finishes and 50 top-10 finishes were first in the nation. He never lost the points lead and never went more than two straight weeks outside the top five. Up next for Rocco is the eighth annual Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California, on January 28–29.

New R&D Facility for DuPont
DuPont opened a new research and development facility dedicated to coatings science at the company’s global research and development headquarters, the Experimental Station. The new Coatings Technology Center (CTC), established by DuPont Performance Coatings, will focus on the DuPont Refinish Systems products, which support the automotive collision industry, and DuPont Industrial CoatingSolutions, which markets a wide range of liquid and powder industrial finishes. The $30 million facility occupies approximately 100,000 square feet of laboratory, applications development and office space. The primary focus of the scientists and support staff at the CTC is strategic research and development aimed at developing new high-performance, sustainable coatings.

DRIVEN and Ride and Drive Form Partnership
DRIVEN Public Relations announced a strategic alignment with Ride and Drive Communications and Events, a collaboration that both agencies report will allow them to work collectively to bolster their unique client offerings and services while working across multiple industries on an international scale. Both DRIVEN and Ride and Drive have a strong automotive focus, but they also have many clients in the powersports and alternative energy industries as well. Both organizations plan to meet regularly to exchange information on trends in their respective markets and supplement work within specific areas of expertise.

Leonard Edwards Named NHRA Director of Sales
Leonard Edwards was hired as director of sales for the NHRA. Edwards will report to Tony Driscoll, vice president of sales and business development. Both are based in NHRA's Charlotte, North Carolina, office. Edwards, who has more than seven years of experience in sales positions within the sports field, most recently worked at International Speedway Corp. as manager of partnership sales. While there, Edwards was responsible for sales in all aspects of the business including media, race entitlements, experiential marketing displays and hospitality.

Shelby Foundation Teams With Capital One
The Carroll Shelby Foundation and Capital One have teamed up to offer three Visa credit card designs in support of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts to help “kids in the race for life.” Contributions from the credit card program include a $50 donation with each card holder’s first purchase, 2% of purchases made at gas stations and grocery stores, 1% of other purchases and up to 10% of purchases made at select merchants. The three card designs include a Cobra 427, a vintage photo of Carroll Shelby in a GT500 and the Carroll Shelby Foundation logo with Carroll Shelby’s signature set against a carbon fiber background. The Foundation was created to provide financial support for children battling life-threatening illnesses and to promote continuing education.

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