Snap-on Increases 1998 Point Fund

Snap-on Increases Points Fund For 1998 To $425,000 Following an agreement reached in late January, Snap-on Tools of Kenosha, Wis. will again be the exclusive title rights sponsor for the International Hot Rod Association's points tour in...

Snap-on Increases Points Fund For 1998 To $425,000

Following an agreement reached in late January, Snap-on Tools of Kenosha, Wis. will again be the exclusive title rights sponsor for the International Hot Rod Association's points tour in 1998. In addition, the year-end fund has again been increased, in accordance with a precedent that has occurred every year since the beginning of the well-known corporation's involvement at the series level, now in its fourth consecutive year.

"We've been extremely pleased with the growth of IHRA Snap-on Drag Racing," said Carl Johanson, Motorsports Marketing Manager for Snap-on Tools. "To show our appreciation to the racers, we have increased the Snap-on points fund to a record $425,000 for the 1998 season." Subsequently, the grand total of cash awards available to competitors this year will be a record amount for the sanctioning body.

"Snap-on Tools remains the biggest supporter of the IHRA and has continued to believe in this organization during the last three years, despite the difficulties and growing pains we have suffered," said IHRA President Bill Bader. "We are honored by their increased generosity again this year and are looking forward to giving all the racers, fans and sponsors of the Snap-on Drag Racing series the best season of racing in recent memory in 1998."

The funding increase will be spread across all 12 eliminators being contested as part of the 23-race Snap-on Drag Racing series. To accumulate points for World Championships, Professional-level racers gather points at all national events where their categories are present, while Sportsman racers gather points at each event they participate in, with the best five scores from the national level and best five scores from the World Championship Series level being used to determine their season-long points finish.

A majority of the 1998 increase went to the Sportsman categories, with World Champions in all eight divisions garnering additional cash at the conclusion of the season.

"While the increases are across the board, we are especially glad to be able to post our largest increase in the sportsman categories," stated Johanson. "These men and women are the heart and soul of drag racing and are more than deserving of the new funding for 1998."

Professional racers will benefit from an additional $10,000 in funding for those four divisions.

Snap-on Tools was founded in 1920 and supplies high-quality hand, air-electric and diagnostic tools to customers worldwide. Snap-on Tools began their involvement as IHRA's series sponsor in 1995 but had backed numerous national events prior to that. They remain the sponsor of four-time IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Doug Herbert and are currently involved in all major racing disciplines. That includes support of over two dozen teams in CART, IRL, as well as the NASCAR teams owned by Richard Childress Racing.

They are also the Official Tool of the Championship Association of Mechanics (CAM), an organization of 800 individuals who do hands-on work in CART, IRL and Indy Lights competition.

"Snap-on Tools, both our headquarters staff and our dealers in the field, are enthused by the tremendous momentum that is building up for the 1998 IHRA Snap-on Drag Racing season," said Johanson, speaking about major changes that have occurred since Bill Bader bought a majority share in the company in January.

Among those developments, spearheaded by Bader's leadership, are a return to three venues, in Bradenton, Fla., Epping, N.H. and Leichester, N.Y. as well as the season-concluding race at a brand new facility, Red River Raceway, in Shreveport, La. As a result, the 1998 season will consist of 10 national events in 10 locations nationwide in addition to 13 WCS races for sportsman campaigners.

Snap-on's 'Dream Team' Advertising Campaign A Success

One of the most unique promotional tools that Snap-on Tools is employing to market their line of quality tools is the 'Dream Team,' which features the crew chiefs from some of the most successful teams in the world of motorsports.

"To bring together this level of talent and expertise, from almost every major form of racing, is really exciting for Snap-on," said Carl Johanson, motorsports marketing manager at the Kenosha, Wis.-based company. "After the 'Dream Team' ads ran last year we received lots of immediate, positive feedback from our fans and customers."

As in many publications, the full page advertisements ran in almost every issue of Drag Review in 1997 and were popular enough nationwide that the company has received many requests for copies of the ads to use as posters. The company will be issuing a new 1998 version in the immediate future.

Snap-on serves as the title sponsor of IHRA Snap-on Drag Racing Series and the major sponsor of the Top Fuel dragster driven by of four-time IHRA World Champion Doug Herbert. They are a product sponsor of NHRA stars, such as Cruz Pedregon, Cory McClenathan, John Myers, Steve Johnson and Angelle Seeling as well.

In addition, Snap-on currently provides tools and equipment to more than 30 CART, IRL, and Indy Lights teams, including Penske Racing.

They are an endorsement sponsor of Richard Childress Racing, the official tool supplier to the Winfield Williams Formula One team, and an associate sponsor and 'Official Tool' of the Miss Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane. The company is also an associate sponsor of the Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the new California Speedway.

"Being partnered with the top crew chiefs is a perfect fit for Snap-on," Johanson added. "Because of the similarities in technical work done by both auto service technicians and pit crew chiefs, the two groups can really appreciate each others' work."

Snap-on Incorporated (NYSE: SNA) is a $1.7 billion leading global developer, manufacturer and distributor of tool and equipment solutions for professional technicians, motor service shop owners, specialty repair centers, original equipment manufacturers and industrial tool users worldwide. Product lines include hand and power tools, diagnostics and shop equipment, tool storage products, diagnostic software and other solutions for the automotive service industry.

To keep up with all the latest IHRA news and information, check out IHRA Online at www.goracing.com/ihra.

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Series Drag
Drivers Doug Herbert , Cruz Pedregon , Cory McClenathan , Steve Johnson
Teams Williams , Richard Childress Racing , Team Penske