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Thu, 14 Dec 2000, 09:48 AM Spring Open Named Official IHRA Pre-season Test Event

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The International Hot Rod Association has announced that the Spring Open will be designated as their official pre-season test event. The event will be hosted by Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie, Va., and sponsored by Drag Racing's largest electronic Internet-based magazine The Spring Open will be held on March 8 - 12, 2001.

This unique event will feature everything from fire-spewing Top Fuel dragsters to the high-speed Pro Modifieds to various sportsman entries in test mode. There will be a special Chicago style eliminations program on Saturday in the professional divisions in exchange for the test time.

Sportsman racers can either test on a daily basis or can attain a special event package depending on what best suits their schedule.

This event will provide the IHRA and Virginia Motorsports Park with the opportunity to showcase the talent that will be rolling into VMP a little over a month later for the ACDelco Nationals presented by Chevrolet.

The event will be billed as drag racing's "Official Cabin Fever Reliever" and will provide the sport with its own version of the Daytona Speedweeks.

IHRA Vice President of Marketing Aaron Polburn feels strong about their involvement with the event.

"This is going to be a blast, I promise you," explained Polburn. "If you think about it, most any sport has a preseason and in drag racing we have test sessions. I have always considered the IHRA as a sanction that sets the pace of the industry and for us to establish an official preseason event for our racers and fans would achieve such a goal. It would also send a message that we don't let grass grow under our feet during the off-season." editor Bobby Bennett feels that the IHRA's acknowledgement of the Spring Open lends a great deal of credibility to the event.

"We are growing in dramatic proportions along with the IHRA," explained Bennett. "It is especially gratifying to align ourselves with them in an effort to showcase what the new season has to offer. On the media end of things, we will try and promote this event to the highest of our potential."

In keeping with the instant news format for the national events, the award-winning FastNews Network headed by Rick Green and Larry Sullivan will provide live coverage for such sites as and as well as This will be made possible by sponsorship from Lizzard Racing.

This major testing event will fill the weekend formerly reserved for the Winter Nationals in Darlington, SC. It will provide the staff at Virginia Motorsports Park with an opportunity to meet and greet its new IHRA family. In late-June of 2000, VMP announced the switch of sanctions and will host its first IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series event in April 20 - 22, 2001.

This is the second major test event that has promoted. The e-zine successfully worked in conjunction with Darlington Dragway this past February to host the successful Groundhog Warm-up presented by Majesty Homes. One major change is that Top Fuel and Funny Car divisions will join the program that consists of Pro Modified, Pro Stock and Nitro Harley. Sportsman racers will be allowed to participate as well as well as NHRA-sanctioned professional and sportsman drivers.

Virginia Motorsports Park is a state of the art facility built in 1994 encompassing 700 acres. The drag strip is concrete the first 675 feet of the mile long track. VMP is located 25 minutes south of Richmond off of I-85. stands as a pioneer in the drag racing publications market as one of the first e-zines to hit the market. The Spartanburg, SC.-based electronic publication first made its debut on September 15, 1999 and has since published 30 issues. New publications are uploaded on the 15th and 30th of each month. Harley Communications publishes the innovative e-zine.

For more information on the event, stay tuned to, or drag racing's leading e-zine at As more news becomes available, it will be posted on these websites.

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