Big news hit today that the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) has been sold. In a release from the new ownership group, IHRA Entertainment LLC, it was announced that a collaboration between the Palm Beach International Raceway and Memphis International Raceway had formed to acquire the IHRA and take over it's management from Feld Motor Sports. The IHRA has been one of the nations premiere drag racing bodies for over 43 years.
|IHRA Drag Racing|
IHRA has sanctioned over 100 drag racing venues in six divisions throughout the United States and Canada. It's four major national series, Nitro Jam®, Thunder Jam®, Summit Pro-Am and Summit Super Series, have become immensely popular with the IHRA's 12,000 plus racing members. They also own and publish Drag Review Magazine®, a full color monthly magazine covering IHRA events and news.
We've been big fans of IHRA drag racing for many years. We attend many of their events, and we're lucky that there are great ones available to us in Texas. We're optimistic about the announced changes, and the reported focus on drag racing. It had been noted over the past several years that some of the organization's momentum had been lost to non-drag events such as Monster Jam. This may be a positive step to ensure that quality IHRA events continue.
The news owners have assumed all assets of the IHRA, including the sanctioning body itself, the four national series, and Drag Review Magazine. Jason Rittenberry will serve as CEO of the IHRA. "Today is a landmark day for our Company, the ownership group and the IHRA. IHRA has shown that their entertainment business model is viable and the company can grow," he announced. "We want to build on the foundation that IHRA has built over the past 40 years and provide the structure and resources it needs to be successful long term in this new motorsports environment."
Aaron Polburn will serve as President & General Manager of IHRA Motorsports. It seems that the new owners are committed to keep drag racing at the forefront of activities for the IHRA. “This is a very exciting time for IHRA," he states. "We now have a team whose total focus is on IHRA, Nitro Jam® and Thunder Jam®. These are incredibly successful guys who will bring a unique vision along with the resources to grow all facets of our business. They are also 'car guys' who have a passion for all forms of motorsports. That is a combination that will serve us well in the coming years. This is a great time to be an IHRA fan, racer, sponsor or member track.”
Departing management head Charlie Mancuso, President of Feld Motor Sports, commented, “Our business has evolved to focus more on other Feld Motor Sports productions like Monster Jam® and Nuclear Cowboyz®, so we are pleased that IHRA’s new owners will be able to expand its offerings and maintain the high event quality for which the brand is known.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Guy L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920’s through 1970’s. Guy Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together he and his wife Andrea share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.