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Views & Notes: May 2014 Edition
By Dan Schechner on April 25, 2014

* Reher-Morrison Returns: A true highlight of each year’s Performance Racing Industry Trade Show is the Engine Charity Sweepstakes, organized by Sunnen Products Co. and PRI, in which a race engine is raffled off to raise funds for the Victory Junction camp. Created in 2004 by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son, Adam, Victory Junction is a year-round camp in Randleman, North Carolina, for children ages six to 16 with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. They do some incredible things there at the 84-acre facility, as well as through their outreach programs, where they partner with nearby hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses to bring camp-style programming to children and families throughout the year. And we’re proud to say that 100 percent of all proceeds from the annual engine giveaway are donated to Victory Junction. Last year’s event raised more than $50,000, and the grand prize—a 1200 horsepower big-block Chevrolet drag race motor built by Reher-Morrison Racing Engines—went to Richard Payne of the House of Payne in Waynesboro, Virginia. The good news is that Reher-Morrison has once again agreed to provide the engine for this year’s sweepstakes. One of our favorite parts of the PRI Show is watching a crowd form around the Engine Charity Sweepstakes booth on that final Saturday afternoon. And the fact that we’re able to give away a Reher-Morrison engine really helps build that excitement. Big thanks to David Reher for the continued support!

* New Winter Series Coming To Cocopah: After months of speculation, Cocopah Speedway recently made it official with the announcement that a new sprint car series—the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown—has been added to the 2015 schedule. Feature races will take place January 2–3 and January 9–10 at the 3/8-mile clay oval in Somerton, Arizona, about five miles southwest of Yuma. Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who raced at Cocopah over two nights in February 2013 and raved about the facility, was instrumental in making the Showdown a reality. “Tony talked about Cocopah Speedway being perfect for a winter sprint car series and things progressed from there,” recalled Greg Burgess, the track’s director of operations. “This is the type of event that a town should rally around and make sure that this home run turns into a grand slam.” To that end, Burgess has enlisted Tommy Estes Jr., current promoter at Dodge City Raceway, to serve as the series’ race director. And, in addition to commitments from Tony Stewart Racing, there is reported interest from Kasey Kahne Racing and Larson Marks Racing teams. Healthy purses should add to the attraction, as each night pays $12,000 to win, with total prize money for the series nearing $250,000. A calendar of non-race day events will be released in the coming months; information on driver registration and tickets also should be available shortly at www.cocopahspeedway.com.

* Save The Date: PRI invites local racing industry members and those in town for the Knoxville Nationals to join us for this year’s 4th Annual VIP Manufacturers Luncheon on Friday, August 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. As in previous years, this fun, informal gathering is open to engine builders, parts manufacturers, race teams, chassis builders, equipment retailers, distributors and all others associated with motorsports. With no formal agenda, it’s a great opportunity to sit back and relax, grab some barbecue, and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow industry folks. Lunch will be provided by area favorite “The Rib Shack,” and gift bags will be handed out to those in attendance. It all takes place on the second floor of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum in Knoxville, Iowa, which once again is co-hosting the event with PRI. If you’re interested in stopping by, or have any questions about the luncheon, please contact PRI’s Reed Morales at reedm@performanceracing.com. We’ll see you in Knoxville!

About the Author
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Dan Schechner is the Editor of Performance Racing Industry Magazine.
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