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Fri, 6 Dec 2002, 10:01 AM

GM Performance Parts becomes presenting sponsor for CompetitionPlus Spring Open
Courtesy of Media Relations

RICHMOND, Va. -- GM Performance Parts has been signed as the major presenting sponsor for the 3rd annual Spring Open at Virginia Motorsports Park, the official test session of the IHRA. The event is scheduled for the weekend of March 20 - 23, one week before the Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series event in Rockingham, NC. The event's format provides free testing for professional teams in exchange for participation in a special "Chicago Style" eliminations format on Sunday.

This year, the event has been expanded to not only include the "Chicago Style" program, but also a GM Performance Parts Top Stock Shootout and a Pro Modified-style doorslammer showdown that could produce the quickest full-bodied drag racing pass in the history of the sport. As if the racing portion of the weekend won't provide enough excitement, will sponsor a free concert on Saturday evening with the up and coming rock group Slur. Publisher Bobby Bennett Jr. is excited about the event.

"I can't say how excited I am to have a marketing partnership with GM Performance Parts for this event," said Bennett. "Gary Penn and the guys at GM Performance Parts are very committed to our sport and that's one of the reasons I'm excited about working with them. They pay attention to detail and that's the one thing that has made them the successful company that they are. I can only see good things coming from this association."

Gary Penn, Motorsports Director for GM Performance Parts, is also excited about the new venture.

"This should be a good event," said Penn. "Bobby Bennett and the staff at have certainly paid their dues in this sport and I'm proud to be associated with an up-and-coming company. The are the future of this industry and we always pride ourselves in our ability to look ahead to the future."

Aaron Polburn, the IHRA's VP of Marketing, feels that this is just another step up the ladder for an event that continues to grow.

"I think last year was the turning point for this event," said Polburn. "Even though it isn't a pre-season event, it will still hold a lot of value for those professional teams jockeying for position in the early part of the season. The event has a lot of energy and we at the IHRA are proud to be associated with it."

Energy is something the 3rd annual Spring Open presented by GM Performance Parts will have in abundance. There will be unlimited test runs on Thursday and Friday for professional teams with a special treat for Pro Modified aficionados on Saturday. The InfiNet Ultimate Doorslammer Challenge will provide race fans with the opportunity to watch Pro Modified cars with minimal rules vie for $5,000 in a race against the clock. The quickest run will be rewarded with the cash prize. Following the event, Slur will perform in a giant party for spectators, racers and officials."

Traditionally, the "Chicago Style" eliminations were held on Saturday, but they have been moved to Sunday. The classes that will be contested include Pro Modified, Mountain Motor Pro Stock, Nitro Harley and Alcohol Funny Car. Negotiations are currently underway for sponsorship of each class.

Full details will soon be available at

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