May is America's 'Race Month' grassroots racers in action nationwide, 70,000-plus competing for new Valvoline Cup.
In basketball, it's called "March Madness," as men's and women's teams battle their way through the NCAA tournament in hopes of a national championship.
In motorsports, May is that special month, with traditional American races led by the Indianapolis 500, plus the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, The Winston NASCAR all-star show, and no less than three NHRA national events.
In addition to those high-profile events on superspeedways and drag strips, however, are literally thousands of weekly local contests. It was from this grassroots level that racing legends ranging from A.J. Foyt to Jeff Gordon got their start, and where countless others happily race in virtual anonymity, simply for the joy of the competition.
The Valvoline Cup, presented by Campbell Hausfeld, was created to recognize the achievements of grassroots racers.
More than 70,000 local racers are enrolled in the Valvoline Cup program, and that number is expected to reach 90,000 by the end of May. The Valvoline Cup will honor national champions in an amazing six categories and 33 classes, ranging from stock cars to sprinters to dragsters and even power-boat competitors. (See full list below.) It may well be the most comprehensive effort to support grassroots drivers in motorsports history.
The Valvoline Cup program is being embraced by local and short-track racers around the country. ARCA champion (and part-time NASCAR Winston Cup driver) Frank Kimmel was one of the first to sign-up. The U.S. Auto Club, World Karting Association and Miniature Motorsports Racing Association have announced their support. The Sports Car Club of America has arranged for all of its members to participate. Empire Super Sprints, a leading dirt sprint car sanctioning body in the northeast, has enrolled its competitors. The American Power Boat Association has committed all of its 4,500 members.
Drivers in virtually any series, at any track, under any sanctioning organization in the U.S., can compete for the Valvoline Cup. There are no specific competition rules or mechanical specifications, according to Bill Catania, president of RaceFan Marketing, the Birmingham, Ala., administrator of the Valvoline Cup. Rather, the Valvoline Cup is a measure of success for a driver within his/her own series, relative to the achievements of others in similar categories. The regulations of the track or governing group where each driver races are followed. Catania said at least 200 special "Valvoline Cup Nights" will be staged at local tracks this year.
Every driver is awarded Valvoline Cup points for finishing positions in their own races. Therefore, as an example, stock car competitiors from different geographic regions can be matched against one another to determine an overall champion. Every driver is trying for the same awards, including cash prizes and Valvoline, Eagle One, Zerex and Pyroil products.
Campbell Hausfeld is presenting sponsor of the Valvolne Cup and racers are eligible to win professional tools from the company. Campbell Hausfeld offers a complete line of powered equipment, including compressors, air tools, pressure washers, painting systems, and welders.
Complete details, and weekly updates, are available on the special www.ValvolineCup.com web site.
"This is a program for racers, no matter what series they run, no matter where they run," said Valvoline Senior Vice President James V. Rocco. "The Valvoline Cup was created to spotlight grassroots racing and bring excitement and recognition to racers who might not appear on TV every weekend. These racers are the bedrock of American motorsports and Valvoline is proud to support them."
"Racers at all levels love competition," said Catania. "The Valvoline Cup lets racers of all types, from any series, and from any track, compete on equal footing within their designated Valvoline Cup class."
Valvoline has a long tradition of supporting American grassroots racing. The company is in its 18th year as title sponsor of the Valvoline Runoffs, the national championship for SCCA amateur road racing, scheduled for Sept. 16-22 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Valvoline also is a contingency sponsor in NHRA drag racing, and for the last six years, has been the No. 1 motor oil choice of sportsmen-class racers at pro events.
May is America's "Race Month" and the Valvoline Cup will help ensure that local drivers -- nationwide -- get their share of the glory.
BASIC FACTS -- THE VALVOLINE CUP:
The Valvoline Cup is designed to support American grassroots racers. There are six motorsports' categories and 33 classes, ranging from local stock car, sprints, drag, motorcycle and power-boat competition. Drivers' results are compared with those at tracks around the country, racing under their local rules, to create point standings and national champions. <pre> VALVOLINE CUP ELIGIBLE CATEGORIES AND CLASSES:
Stock Car and Truck: Asphalt Stock Dirt Late Models Dirt Stock Entry Level Paved Late Model Scaled Stock Truck
Drag Racing: Class Drags ET Bracket Foot Brake ET Bracket Street ET Bracket Super Pro/Top ET Import Drag Junior Dragster Motorcycle Nostalgia Pro Heads Up Super Class
Sports Car: Full Bodied Sports Cars Open Wheel Sports Cars Time Trials
Open Wheel: Midget Modified Sprint Car
Kart/Micros: Karts Junior Speedway Karts Senior Speedway Karts Junior Sprint Karts Senior Sprint Micros Other Karts
Other: Motorcycle Off-Road Open Power Boats