Matco Tools renews as Englishtown sponsor

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GLENDORA, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2002) -- Matco Tools, an industry leading manufacturer and distributor of quality professional tools, has signed a multi-year agreement with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to continue as the title-rights...

GLENDORA, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2002) -- Matco Tools, an industry leading manufacturer and distributor of quality professional tools, has signed a multi-year agreement with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to continue as the title-rights sponsor for the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., it was announced today.

        The 34th annual Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions will be contested May 15-18, 2003 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, an historic drag racing facility located in central New Jersey near the mega markets of New York City and Philadelphia. The $1.9 million race, which will be televised by ESPN2, is the eighth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series for 2003.

        "We are thrilled to renew our sponsorship of this high-profile race, which is one of the main cornerstones in the evolution of NHRA drag racing," said Eric Mullenmeister, vice president of sales for Matco Tools. "As the NHRA continues to grow and develop we want to maintain our status as a major corporate presence during this exciting time of unlimited expansion."

        Matco Tools first sponsored an NHRA national event in 1997 in Houston and hosted that event for three years. For the last three years, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park has been the home of the Matco Tools SuperNationals.

        "Old Bridge Township Raceway Park not only offers exciting and fast-paced racing, but from a Matco Tools company standpoint, it also offers an ideal setting because of the high distributor concentration we have in the tri-state area," Mullenmeister said. "Our Matco Tools distributors have utilized this event to create a bond with their customers that goes far beyond just selling tools. It's been a great partnership working with the NHRA and the good folks at Raceway Park -- the Napp family (track owner) and general manager Ken Landerman."

        The Matco Tools SuperNationals also has been a success from a fundraising standpoint. Through the years the event has raised more than $75,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the New York University Cancer Research Center. The funds have been raised through the annual Matco Tools SuperNationals charity golf outing, silent auctions and raffles.

"We're pleased that Matco Tools is continuing its support of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series by renewing their title sponsorship of one of our most tradition-rich events on the East Coast," said Bob Wagner, NHRA vice president of sales and business development. "Matco Tools continues to be a quality partner in growing our fan base and certainly has demonstrated a keen ability to effectively utilize NHRA national event sponsorships as a part of its overall marketing strategy."

In addition to the Matco Tools SuperNationals, the company is the primary sponsor for Whit Bazemore's Pontiac Firebird in Funny Car competition, Craig Treble's Pro Stock Bike and George Marnell's Pro Stock team. Matco Tools also is an associate sponsor for several NHRA pro teams, including Top Fuel dragsters driven by Darrell Russell and Tony Schumacher,  Funny Cars driven by Bruce Sarver and Scotty Cannon and Pro Stock cars driven by Mark Pawuk, V. Gaines, Darrell Alderman and Gene Wilson.

        Matco Tools, with headquarters in Stow, Ohio, is a manufacturer and distributor of quality professional automotive equipment, tools and toolboxes. Matco Tools is a subsidiary of Danaher Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and key player in several industries, including tools, environmental and industrial process and control markets. Matco began operation in 1946. Since 1979, Matco Tools has sold products directly to professional mechanics, enthusiasts, and those who value quality tools through a network of independent franchised mobile distributors.

        Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has more than 80,000 members nationwide and more than 130 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the Castrol GTX Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

-nhra-

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