National Hot Rod Association Announces Formation of NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series; Premier Drag Racing Sanctioning Body Jumps Into Extremely Popular Import Drag Racing Scene

Ushering in a new era in the import drag racing scene, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), in cooperation with mail-order giant Summit Racing Equipment, announced the formation of the NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series. The NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series will feature six events throughout the United States and guaranteed prize purses.

"We gave much thought to when the right time would be to enter into the popular import drag racing marketplace," said Tom Compton, president of NHRA. "We believe, with Summit Racing Equipment as our series sponsor, the time is now to produce a professional series that maintains the high standards associated with all of NHRA's racing properties."

NHRA presently features several national series including the NHRA Summit Racing Series, NHRA Castrol GTX Junior Drag Racing League, NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Competitors in the 2001 NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series will accrue points at each of the six events in their quest to become a national champion. A year-end bonus fund of $120,000 is guaranteed, as well as purses at each event and an extensive contingency program. The 2001 NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series will run dial-your-own ET bracket and five heads-up, no break-out classes. All classes will be prohibited to use electronics in the form of throttle stops, delay boxes or rpm activated shifters. A list of all class specifications is attached.

The six-race series will stop in some of the most famous tracks on the current NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series schedule, including Dallas, Gainesville, Fla., Englishtown, N.J., Houston and Sacramento, Calif., with the finals in Pomona, Calif. All six races will be aired on ESPN2.

"We couldn't be happier to team up with NHRA to inaugurate what we believe will be the most respected and competitive import drag racing series in the country," said Jon Hedges, marketing manager, Summit Racing Equipment. "The import drag racing industry is a burgeoning enterprise and one we believe mirrors the long-term growth potential here at Summit Racing Equipment. By partnering with the largest drag racing governing body in the world, we are making a commitment to the import drag racing community to provide the most prestigious series available in the marketplace."

Although import drag racing has been in existence for some time and there are several current series available to import drag racers around the country, many in the industry have argued that only with the participation of NHRA in some capacity could the youthful sport gain legitimacy on a national level. "We spent countless hours talking to racers and the aftermarket community to assess their needs and ways NHRA could address them," said Compton. "The fruits of that effort, we believe, will result in the creation of a series that will truly be the best import drag racing series in the country."