Virginia Motorsports Park to host pre-season test

DINWIDDIE, Va. - After a long winter's nap, the duo of Virginia Motorsports Park and CompetitionPlus.com E-zine plan to wake up the eastern drag racing community with an alarm that will ring with the thunder of high-horsepower machinery and a...

DINWIDDIE, Va. - After a long winter's nap, the duo of Virginia Motorsports Park and CompetitionPlus.com E-zine plan to wake up the eastern drag racing community with an alarm that will ring with the thunder of high-horsepower machinery and a distinct smell of nitromethane in the air. This event, hosted by the Dinwiddie, Va.-based facility, will signal the start of the 2001 season on the East Coast, with a testing event that will surpass all others. This event will begin on Thursday, March 8th and conclude on the following Sunday. Saturday will feature a special "Chicago Style" eliminations format for all professional entries ranging from the fire-breathing Top Fuel dragsters to the ultra-popular Pro Modifieds to the supercharged Funny Cars.

The 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, VMP announced the switch of sanctions and will host its first IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series event on April 20-22, 2001.

VMP's Director of Marketing Bryan Pierce is at a loss for words when he considers the potential of the upcoming pre-season event.

"This is going to be an awesome deal," said Pierce. "I think this is a going to be a great opportunity to introduce the IHRA excitement to our hometown fans as well as our local media. Also, I feel this is a great opportunity to usher in our new alliance with the IHRA in preparation for our national event in April. This warm-up is not only for the drivers, but our staff as well. It's a great opportunity for the pros and the sportsman racers to get some test runs in before the 2001 season opens up."

He continued, "I am looking forward to working with the staff at CompetitionPlus.com as well as the IHRA to make this event a rousing success. I think the our event will mark an alliance between three of drag racing's up and coming entities, The IHRA, CompetitionPlus.com and Virginia Motorsports Park."

Bobby Bennett, editor of the CompetitionPlus.com e-zine, is ready to begin the 2001 season.

"This event should be an effective cabin fever reliever," explained Bennett, whose e-zine recently topped the 100,000 reader mark. "When IHRA's Vice President Aaron Polburn came to me and suggested promoting such an event, I knew this would be the move to take our annual pre-season event as well as our e-zine to the next level. I owe a lot to him for this. Virginia Motorsports Park is a first class facility and I look forward to working with the management to make this event a memorable one."

The e-zine successfully worked in conjunction with Darlington Dragway this past February to host the successful CompetitionPlus.com Groundhog Warm-up presented by Majesty Homes. The format will work in much the same fashion in that professional drivers will be afforded testing in exchange for participating in the special "Chicago Style" eliminations format on Saturday. 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 drivers.

Bennett is thankful that he had the opportunity to work with the fine staff at Darlington Dragway.

He added, "I will always be thankful for the opportunity to David Johnson, Johnny Rocca and Carlton Philips afforded me. I have kept the door open that if they need any help with any future events that my e-zine as well as my staff will be there to assist in any way we can. We had a winner in the two years that we promoted the Groundhog Warm-up."

Darlington Dragway will still contest their third annual Groundhog Warm-up in February.

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.

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