SEMA eNews Vol. 19, No. 10, March 10, 2016

NHRA: Lucas Oil Products Extends Naming Rights of Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis

Compiled by SEMA Editors

NHRA News

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LUCAS OIL PRODUCTS EXTENDS NAMING RIGHTS OF LUCAS OIL RACEWAY AT INDIANAPOLIS: Lucas Oil Products has extended the naming rights for the NHRA-owned and -operated multi-purpose auto-racing facility located just west of Indianapolis, officials from the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning organization have announced. The naming rights began in 2011, and Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis has represented Lucas Oil Products during numerous events at the facility. Lucas Oil Raceway conducts racing events from March to November on a .686-mile oval, a 2.5-mile road course and the historic dragstrip. Premiere events include weekly drag races, championship events on the oval, as well as sled-pulls, autocross and drifting competitions at the venue. The dragstrip also hosts the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals held annually over Labor Day weekend.

AMALIE MOTOR OIL EXTENDS TITLE-RIGHTS SPONSORSHIP OF NHRA GATORNATIONALS: Amalie Motor Oil Co. has agreed to a multi-year extension of its title-rights sponsorship of the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. This year’s Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals is scheduled for March 17–20, and is the third event on the 24-race 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Amalie Motor Oil at this tradition-rich event,” said Brad Gerber, NHRA vice president of sales and chief development officer. “Amalie Motor Oil has been actively involved in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with its association with Terry McMillen and his Xtermigator Top Fuel dragster. The continuation of its involvement with the NHRA and the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals will build upon past successes and further its reach in the series.”

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K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE PEOPLE'S CHOICE VOTING OPEN: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to the swamps of Gainesville, Florida, March 17–20, for the AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals—the third event of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello season. Fans in the Sunshine State will be in for a treat at the circuit’s traditional East Coast opener at Gainesville Raceway as the world’s best drag racers power their 10,000-hp, fire-breathing machines down the strip in pursuit of championship points and early-season momentum. Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including live finals coverage at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).

He Said, She Said

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“It could be one session where you see one, two, maybe three or four motorcycles run over that 200 mph mark and it might be stacked up on who goes out first in qualifying in the session. It could be as exciting as that or it could be the last two bikes in a certain session put it up side-by-side. We are all looking for it and it is a matter of all the stars lining up correctly and finding that couple of horsepower that we all need to push us to the next threshold.”

—Andrew Hines on the possibility of racers in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category breaking the 200-mph barrier during the 2016 season, starting at the AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. He has a career best speed of 199.23 mph.      

Inside the Numbers

75: Number of of career victories Pro Stock racer Greg Anderson reached when he was the 2015 AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals winner, defeating teammate Jason Line. Anderson went on to win three more races in 2015, and with his season-opening win in Pomona, he currently has 79 career wins in Pro Stock. Anderson, a four-time Pro Stock world champion, is third on the all-time Pro Stock wins list and trails Bob Glidden in second with 85 wins and Warren Johnson who has 97 victories. Anderson has three career wins at Gainesville Raceway and had the top speed at the event in 2015 at 213.67 mph. Anderson has three wins at the track (2004, 2007, 2015).

“Gainesville, Indy and Pomona, they were always some of the biggest, and from the time I started going to the racetrack with my dad you knew those were one of the special ones,” said Anderson. “They were the ones you wanted to jump in the camper or car and go across country to see. The first time I won there it felt like it was something special, something bigger. I’m glad we have that and not everyone feels the same. Any win is great but the ones that happen at the major tracks—you’re darn right they feel special.”

Did You Know

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NHRA TV VIEWERSHIP UP DRAMATICALLY IN 2016: NHRA’s revamped race coverage on FOX Sports earned more than 300,000 additional viewers through the first two Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events of the season, which included the Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, California, February 14, and the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Phoenix, February 28.

“We’re extremely happy with the numbers from our first two events on FOX Sports 1,” said Peter Clifford, NHRA president. “Our fans’ response has been incredible and we look forward to continuing to provide a great product on FOX the rest of the season. Our audience is trending younger and we are keeping our viewers tuned in for longer periods of time during each telecast. It is a terrific start with our new television partner.”

According to Nielsen Media Research, FOX Sports 1’s airings of the two NHRA events realized a 15% increase over the same two events last year. The 2016 coverage had a total of 2.6 million viewers for the finals telecasts, qualifying shows and re-airs on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.

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