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Thu, 9 Dec 1999, 07:11 PM

Summit Racing Named NHRA E.T. Drag Racing Series Sponsor
Courtesy of NHRA Communications

Extensive Programs in Place to Increase Purses, Participation

GLENDORA, Calif. -- Summit Racing Equipment, an industry leader in distribution of auto racing parts and equipment through catalogs and the Internet, has reached a multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement with the National Hot Rod Association to become the primary sponsor of the NHRA E.T. Drag Racing Series.

The commitment by Summit Racing is a huge boost to the sportsman series, which has long been the backbone of drag racing. The sponsorship more than doubles the financial commitment to the series including a record increase in cash payouts and awards. In addition, the series will include a first-time-ever-national event where a champion in each category will be crowned. Summit Racing intends to expand the member track participant kit and will develop extensive programming for both consumers and enthusiasts designed to increase visibility for the sport on a national level. Internet components and links to Summit Racing and NHRA web sites are part of the initiative to increase racer participation.

As many as 300,000 racers nationwide will participate at 142 NHRA member tracks in the NHRA Summit Racing E.T. Drag Racing Series starting in the year 2000, competing for a record share in available cash and awards. The NHRA Summit Racing E.T. Drag Racing Series will be the largest organized series in drag racing nationwide.

"Summit Racing's increased involvement with the NHRA and sponsorship of the E.T. Drag Racing Series will significantly elevate our already established and successful grassroots racing programs," NHRA President Tom Compton said. "In addition, Summit will increase its visibility with grassroots drag racers, forging an even greater relationship with many of their best customers. Not only will Summit Racing's involvement with the E.T. program significantly increase the E.T. Series purse, but it will also maximize opportunities available in the program for our local-based competitors across North America."

"With Summit's aggressive approach to its sponsorship of this series, we will be able to enhance our value to member tracks while giving them the resources to stage events that benefit both the racer and the venue," Compton added.

The NHRA Summit Racing E.T. Drag Racing Series will feature a bracket racing (elapsed time) format, allowing drivers in many types of cars, including dragsters, roadsters, sedans and coupes, to compete on an equal basis against each other. In addition to three competition categories for cars, there also will be a motorcycle category featured in the NHRA Summit Racing E.T. Drag Racing Series.

NHRA Summit Racing E.T. Drag Racing Series racers compete for points and cash awards in a number of qualifying events at 142 NHRA-member tracks throughout North America. Drivers gaining the most points become eligible to compete for individual and team honors at the Summit Racing NHRA Division E.T. Finals in each of the seven NHRA divisions. For the first-time, individual winners will not only receive a division trophy, but also travel expenses to attend the Summit Racing NHRA National E.T. Finals, competing for a national championship and bragging rights for the year. Summit Racing NHRA National E.T. Finals champions in each of the four categories will earn $5,000 and a national champion's trophy.

"We are excited to enhance our participation in NHRA championship drag racing by becoming the title sponsor of the NHRA E.T. Drag Racing Series, which is the lifeline of the sport," said Jon Hedges, Summit Racing Marketing Manager. "We believe our partnership with the NHRA will help create a better awareness of the E.T. Drag Racing Series and increase Summit Racing's presence among the thousands of local bracket racers across North America. We intend to leverage our sponsorship with extensive outreach to the sportsman racer through consumer programs and promotions. "The NHRA is uniquely qualified to provide Summit with a national forum to reach our core audience," Hedges added.

In addition to the Summit Racing NHRA National E.T. Drag Racing Series, Summit Racing also is the primary sponsor for Mark Pawuk's Pontiac Firebird in Pro Stock, John Lingenfelter's Chevy S-10 in Pro Stock Truck, Dan Fletcher's '69 Camaro in Super Stock and '99 Pontiac Firebird in Stock, and the presenting sponsor for an NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series event in Columbus, Ohio.

The NHRA has featured an E.T. Drag Racing Series since the mid-1970s. It provides safe, even and exciting competition for the local racer, the backbone of the NHRA.

Summit Racing Equipment, the industry's largest direct marketer of performance automotive and truck equipment, is based in Tallmadge, Ohio with warehouses in Tallmadge and Sparks, Nev. Founded in 1968, Summit Racing markets products through mail order catalogs and the Internet.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has 85,000 members nationwide and 142 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing E.T. Drag Racing Series and the Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

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