The renewal of the partnership with Summit Racing Equipment also includes some updates to the existing sportsman programs. The Summit Pro-Am Tour will be replaced and move from a divisional based system to a national based points system in 2017. The change in structure will eliminate "divisions" and return to utilizing a national points based system that will improve a competitor's ability to pick and choose the races he or she wants to attend without having geographical constraints. Additionally, the Summit SuperSeries will feature an increased and expanded Summit World Finals purse.
"The sportsman racer, at every level, has been and will continue to be one of the most important components of the Summit Racing Equipment family," said Summit Motorsports and Events Manager Jim Greenleaf. "We are proud to support the men, women and kids who gather at their local IHRA track to participate in the Summit SuperSeries or travel throughout their region chasing a class racing championship. It is a great feeling for us to see Summit SuperSeries champions from all over North America show up at Memphis for the Summit World Finals to race for a World Championship. It takes the entire family of IHRA racers, member tracks, sanctioning body staff and Summit Racing Equipment working together to move the sportsman racing component of IHRA Drag Racing to the incredible level of support and enthusiasm we have today and we are proud to continue our efforts in these programs," Greenleaf continued.
The new national class racing program will be called the Summit Sportsman National Championship and it will feature the same line-up of classes including: Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, Super Stock, Stock, Quick Rod, Super Rod, Hot Rod and a class for Juniors. The Summit Sportsman National Championship will kick off in Immokalee, Florida (Immokalee Regional Raceway) in early February and conclude in West Salem, Ohio (Dragway 42) in late September. Complete details and dates for the new Summit Sportsman National Championship will be released soon.
In addition, the Summit Sportsman National Championship will boast a championship point fund that pays more than anything currently in the marketplace with $15,000 to win the national championship, $5,000 for second and $3,000 for third place in each of the seven primary classes. The Junior champion will win $2,000, $1,500 for second place and $1,000 for the third place finisher in the national points chase. The event purses have also been improved to ensure the IHRA is extremely competitive in the market while still having an entry fee that is less than any other event of its type.
IHRA was the first organization to live stream the entire series of class racing events and in 2017 will build upon that platform by announcing a new media partnership with a major network provider. The new partnership will provide unprecedented live stream coverage of each Summit Sportsman National Championship event in its entirety with an industry leading provider of sports content. This partnership will be announced shortly and will further demonstrate IHRA's dominate role in providing national exposure to sportsman competitors.
"Summit Racing Equipment is a mainstay of the IHRA family and we're excited to have them back and continue to support our sportsman racing programs," said IHRA Vice President Skooter Peaco. "Our sportsman racers are the backbone of our company and Summit helps us to grow those programs every year. In fact, we just finished our 15th season of the Summit SuperSeries and we are very proud of the fact that we have been able to grow that program into the largest of its kind in the sport. The IHRA just hosted the largest gathering of track champions in the history of drag racing during the Summit World Finals as 95% of all IHRA Summit SuperSeries tracks had their champions represented at Memphis International Raceway for the Summit SuperSeries World Championship. It was incredible to see almost every champion from every track we have racing against each other. It definitely reinforced the fact that the Summit SuperSeries is on target with our member tracks and our bracket racing members."
Summit Racing Equipment is the world's largest mail order automotive performance equipment company with thousands of performance parts, aftermarket accessories, tools and garage equipment and stock replacement parts. For over 40 years, Summit Racing Equipment has set and reset the standard for fast shipping, customer service, and tech expertise in auto parts in order to become a performance powerhouse around the globe.
For additional information about the IHRA or Summit Racing Equipment, please visit www.IHRA.com and www.summitracing.com
About IHRA Motorsports
The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) is owned and operated by IRG Sports + Entertainment™, a TPG Specialty Lending company. The IHRA promotes professional and sportsman racing for drivers of all levels. The IHRA sanctions more than 100 motorsport facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Bahama's and welcomes 30,000 racers annually to their IHRA-sanctioned facilities. The IHRA oversees multiple sportsman racing programs including the Summit Sportsman National Championship, Summit Racing Equipment SuperSeries, and Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions. For more information, visit www.IHRA.com, or connect with us on Facebook.com/IHRAMotorsports, Twitter @IHRA or Instagram @IHRADRS.