Title sponsor of NHRA 50TH Anniversary Nationals named

GLENDORA, Calif. (May 29, 2001) - Pep Boys Parts, Tires, Accessories, and Service has reached an agreement with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to become the title sponsor of the NHRA 50th Anniversary Nationals, the first nighttime drag...

GLENDORA, Calif. (May 29, 2001) - Pep Boys Parts, Tires, Accessories, and Service has reached an agreement with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to become the title sponsor of the NHRA 50th Anniversary Nationals, the first nighttime drag race in Southern California in more than 20 years. American Racing Custom Wheels has agreed to provide support to the race as presenting sponsor.

The Pep Boys NHRA 50th Anniversary Nationals presented by American Racing Wheels will be held July 5-7 at historic Pomona Raceway. The $2 million race, which will be televised by ESPN2, is the 13th of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series for 2001.

The Pep Boys NHRA 50th Anniversary Nationals will feature qualifying runs on Thursday and Friday with final eliminations on Saturday night. A special curfew has been arranged to run the vehicles until 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and until 10 p.m. on Saturday.

The unique event will feature a full compliment of professional racing, with national points at stake in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle. In addition, all sportsman categories, including Federal-Mogul Dragster and Federal-Mogul Funny Car, will compete.

Adding to the historical flavor of the event will be an eight-car qualified field of front-engine top fuel dragsters. Other nostalgia vehicles will be featured in exhibition formats, including fuel altereds and gas coupes. In addition, a variety of fireworks and laser light shows will be featured throughout the weekend.

"We're thrilled to be involved with NHRA and look forward to a great relationship," said Nick Ruttenberg, Pep Boys' director of presence marketing. "With the deep, tradition-rich history of the NHRA, it was an easy decision for Pep Boys to become part of this event."

This is the first association in NHRA drag racing for Pep Boys, who have recently decided to increase their involvement in motorsports.

"This special event was designed to celebrate the past 50 years of NHRA drag racing," said Bob Wagner, NHRA vice president of sales and business development. "Pep Boys has been around since 1921, and American Racing since 1956, so we're proud to have companies with such tradition connected to this race to help celebrate the storied history of the NHRA."

American Racing Wheels has been involved in motorsports since its inception in 1956. Along with providing sponsorship to Top Fuel drivers Darrell Russell, Don Lampus and Pro Stock driver Tom Hammonds, American Racing Wheels is also involved with Joe Amato Racing, Orleans Motorsports, Hartman Offshore Racing and the Wheel America Tour.

"Night drag racing is the original extreme sport," said Scott Hughes, motorsports manager for Los Angeles-based American Racing Wheels, "The NHRA's 50th birthday race will be historic -- it will be a true Southern California night racing event, conjuring up memories of Lion's Drag Strip, where it all started."

-NHRA

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Series Automotive , NHRA
Drivers Joe Amato , Tom Hammonds , Don Lampus , Scott Hughes