Don Schumacher Racing, NAPA AUTO PARTS Announce Multi-Year Extension PLUS First Look at 2019 NAPA Funny Car
BROWNSBURG, IN – Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is pleased to announce longtime partner NAPA AUTO PARTS has extended their marketing relationship with the winningest organization in NHRA history through a multi-year agreement, beginning in 2019.
“We’ve enjoyed an 11-year partnership with NAPA and are thrilled to be able to announce that relationship will continue into 2019 and beyond,” said team owner Don Schumacher. “The longevity of our relationship speaks volumes, and we look forward to many more wins, championships and years representing NAPA AUTO PARTS.”
NAPA AUTO PARTS joined the DSR family as an associate sponsor in 2007 and became the primary sponsor of the Dodge Funny Car driven by Ron Capps in 2008. Over the past 11 years, Capps and the NAPA team have gone on to win 36 races, 15 poles, and the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series championship title.
YORBA LINDA, CA — As the NHRA Mello Drag Racing Series off-season reaches its midway point, the drivers of John Force Racing took some time to reflect on a challenging 2018 season. The finale to 2018 may not have ended with the championship celebration many had predicted but the teams all finished inside the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top 10 for the 35th time in the past 36 seasons. Robert Hight came close to defending his 2017 championship finishing in second with Courtney Force ending a career best season in the sixth spot. Team namesake and CEO John Force finished ninth and in Top Fuel Brittany Force finished fifth.
Although he didn’t get the monumental 150th NHRA tour victory, John Force and his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro came one step closer with a victory at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver to tally 149 and finished the 2018 season in far better shape than he started it. The 16-time champion began the year outside the Top 10 following car control problems, engine explosions and a crash. The 69-year-old veteran’s season record was set at 25-22, the 32nd year he has won more racing rounds than he’s lost and the 36th year he has finished in the Top 10.
The track, located in Eddyville, Iowa, first opened in 1965. It has a glorious past with over a half-century of racing and presently features a strong IHRA Summit SuperSeries program. In the near future, Eddyville is scheduled to host the inaugural IHRA Midwest Summit Team Finals on Sept. 5-8, 2019.
Located on 60-plus acres, ERP features a 1/8-mile drag strip along with several amenities for the racers including clean restrooms, showers, the best lighting in all of motorsports, camping and a kids playground. Sunoco Race Fuels are offered on site.
“There are supporters of the Summit SuperSeries and then there are believers,” IHRA Division Director Jon O’Neal said. “And then there’s Gerald Kramer and the Eddyville family. They have embraced the Summit SuperSeries to the point where they are hosting an independent team finals event for the sole reason of spreading the IHRA Philosophy. That’s dedication.”
MOORESVILLE, NC — The quickly expanding conglomerate formed by Elite Motorsports and Modern Racing has taken another step forward. The team is proud to announce the addition of record-setting tuner and engine management expert Shane Tecklenburg to the braintrust led by Modern Racing’s Justin Elkes.
The arrangement calls for Tecklenburg to supply the team’s three turbocharged NHRA Pro Modified entries piloted by Erica Enders, Alex Laughlin and Steve Matusek with complete vehicle management systems.
“I look forward to combining the resources of my firm, ST Consulting, with those of Elite Motorsports and Modern Racing. I think each business compliments the other and each brings a high level of expertise in their respective fields,” Tecklenburg stated. “I look forward to working with Justin Elkes to help ensure the team is on the leading edge of technology and performance each time we pull to the starting line.”
Although he has never competed directly in E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod presented by J&A Service, Tecklenburg has worked behind the scenes to supply teams in the series with his custom software for the MoTeC engine management system.
Outside of NHRA Pro Mod, Tecklenburg’s experience in writing custom software and tuning record-setting drag racing vehicles spans from the sport’s quickest and fastest doorslammer, the EKanoo Racing Lexus RCF, which covered the quarter mile in 5.379 seconds at 278 MPH earlier this year, to the Team Tekno Toys Modified Pro Compact Nissan Silvia S15, which just last month claimed the title of the world’s fastest 4-cylinder doorslammer with a 6.228-second pass at 229.55 MPH.
McLeansboro, IL – Industry veteran Steven Cole has joined Straightline Strategy Group (SSG) as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales. SSG are the owners of the Parts Plus, Strutmasters.com NHRA Top Fuel Dragster driven by Clay Millican.
Cole brings over 25 years of marketing experience to SSG, with the past 20 years exclusively in motorsports with NHRA, IHRA, NASCAR and IndyCar. Cole will be handling corporate marketing efforts with SSG Partner, Scott Gardner.
“I am thrilled to have Steve Cole join our team. Having worked with him in the past, I am confident that he is going to make an immediate and far-reaching impact for our company and clients,” said Gardner.
Prior to joining SSG, Cole worked for John Force Racing as Vice President, Sales. Prior to that, Cole served as a Senior Director of Sales at the International Hot Rod Association as well as at Action Performance Companies, Inc., as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Advertising and PR. In addition, he has prior experience working in professional sports marketing agencies and player management groups within NFL, NHL, and minor league baseball.
McLeansboro, IL – The Straightline Strategy Group, a marketing and management company specializing in drag racing entities announced the formulation of a marketing alliance group that includes racers from a broad range of professional classes.
Joining the marketing alliance include Matt Hartford with his Total Seal Pro Stock Camaro, Paul Lee and his McLeod Nitro Funny Car, No-Prep Kings/Street Outlaw Chevrolet racer Jeff Lutz plus Janette Thornley with her AMRA Pro Fuel Harley-Davidson.
“Simply put, there is strength in diversity and numbers as it concerns marketing partners” said Steven Cole, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “We can bring expanded exposure opportunities through multiple major platforms (classes) in drag racing that will no doubt prove beneficial for sponsors” he concluded.
Jim Oberhofer Named Crew Chief
Lee suffered what is known as a highly fatal widow’s maker heart attack in December 2016 with a 100 percent blockage of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. Three stints were inserted in his main artery and Paul suffered what was thought to be significant damage that would preclude him from driving in the Nitro Funny Car division. However through aggressive rehabilitation and significant physical training, Lee was cleared by doctors to return to the driver’s seat.
“We are excited to essentially be partnering with Paul by managing the day to day operations of the McLeod Racing Funny Car” said SSG Partner Doug Stringer. “The management component will go hand and hand with our Marketing Alliance Group to secure Paul financing for the entire 2019 Series” continued Stringer.