DRO: Jon, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. The word
is out that Summit has really stepped up its sportsman drag racing involvement
for 2000. Summit has signed on as the major sponsor for both the IHRA
Summit Super Series and the NHRA Summit Racing Series. Why did Summit
Racing Equipment feel that now was the time to get so involved?
Hedges: Weve been very involved with sportsman racing for
several years now. Skooter Peaco, our Motorsports Manager, has worked
very hard on this. Thanks to Skooter, we had already been involved with
the IHRA program for a couple years when we had the opportunity to take
over the NHRA Sears Craftsman program for 2000. We decided to step up
our involvement because we saw a need to support racers at the grass
roots level, as well as to promote bracket racing to new racers to grow
Were going to be an active sponsor and help market sportsman
racing. The sportsman racer is the backbone of racing and we thought
it was time to give the sportsman racers the monetary support they deserve.
DRO: How would you like to see the IHRA Summit Super Series and the
NHRA Summit Racing Series affect local bracket tracing?
JH: Id like to see local bracket racing grow. Id like
to see more awareness of bracket racing across the country so more people
would participate at their local track.
DRO: What are the direct benefits the racer will see as participants
in the IHRA and NHRA bracket racing series?
JH: The NHRA Summit Racing Series has some neat components to it.
First of all, local participants have the chance to compete at seven
divisional Summit Finals races. The divisional winners will all compete
for an NHRA Summit Racing Series national championship, and it looks
like that will be at the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, California
this November. The total purse jumped to $128,000.
DRO: What are the plans to help the participating tracks get the word
out on Summit Racings plans?
JH: Were actively promoting this program to racers. We created
a new job at Summit to coordinate all of this: Kirk Heinbuch is our
new motorsports coordinator. Hell be working directly with local
tracks as well as divisional directors. Hell be helping Skooter.
Well be using our website at www.summitracing.com
and our catalogs to promote these programs, too.
We had an all-day planning session with the NHRA divisional directors
in Dallas a few weeks ago, to plan the season and to make sure we all
knew what we had to do. It was a great meeting and gave us a head start
for the year.
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