Junior Drag Racing title sponsor announced

O'Reilly to sponsor NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League GLENDORA, Calif. (June 25, 2003) - National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) officials announced today that O'Reilly Auto Parts has been named the title sponsor of the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League, an ...

O'Reilly to sponsor NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League

GLENDORA, Calif. (June 25, 2003) - National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) officials announced today that O'Reilly Auto Parts has been named the title sponsor of the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League, an entry-level series for kids ages 8 to 17.

In the multi-year agreement, O'Reilly Auto Parts, a specialty retailer of aftermarket auto parts with more than 1,000 store locations throughout the Midwest and Southeast, will have the exclusive right to market and promote the NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League, effective immediately.

"Our title sponsorship of the NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League enhances our expanding partnership with NHRA by providing a solid foundation for the NHRA drag racing champions of tomorrow," said Ron Byerly, vice president of advertising and marketing for O'Reilly Auto Parts. "We're thrilled with the opportunity to connect on a competitive level with NHRA's Jr. Drag Racing League membership and to provide an exciting championship environment for these kids."

The NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League will consist of weekly racing at many of NHRA's 140 member tracks and two regional championship events: The NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals, June 26-28 at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa.; and the NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League Western Conference Finals, July 31-Aug. 2 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. Both of the conference finals events will be televised on ESPN2.

"By becoming the title sponsor of the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League, O'Reilly is venturing into the fundamental level of grassroots motorsports and tapping into an unlimited resource, NHRA drag racers of the future," said Bob Wagner, vice president of sales and business development, NHRA. "The NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League is a very unique program and unparalleled in the world of motorsports. It provides the ultimate opportunity for young auto enthusiasts to participate in drag racing in a controlled and safer environment. No other form of motorsports provides such a venue and it is a testament to NHRA's commitment to develop and nurture the sport."

Founded in 1992, more than 4,200 kids compete in the NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League. Jr. Dragsters are half-scale replicas powered by five-horsepower engines that produce speeds up to 85 mph in the eighth-mile distance.

The commitment increases O'Reilly's presence in NHRA Drag Racing. The company is the title sponsor of four NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events, including the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in mid-April; the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka (Kan.) on Memorial Day weekend; the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park in mid-September; and the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas, held in mid-October.

O'Reilly Auto Parts is one of the largest specialty retailers of automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment and accessories in the United States, serving both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets. Founded in 1957 by the O'Reilly family, the company operates 1,011 stores within the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

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 80,000 members nationwide and 140 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 Racing Series, NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

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