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Summit Title Sponsor of Mardi Gras Event

IHRA has announced that Summit Racing Equipment has signed on as the title sponsor for the Inaugural IHRA Summit Mardi Gras Nationals brought to you by Wolverine Boots and Academy Sports & Outdoors March 6-8 at State Capitol Raceway in Baton Rouge.
Summit Racing Equipment already has a longstanding history with the IHRA through sponsorship of the Summit Pro-Am Tour, Summit All-Star Race and Summit Super Series and this latest partnership simply furthers Summit's commitment to the IHRA and to the drag racing community.

"Summit Racing is excited to further strengthen our commitment to IHRA sportsman racers by sponsoring the Inaugural Summit Racing Equipment Mardi Gras Nationals in Baton Rouge," said Summit Motor Sports Event Manager Jim Greenleaf. "This event is a great way to kick off the 2009 IHRA Nitro Jam season and an excellent opportunity to support racers and race fans in the southern United States."

The inaugural event will mark the first time in several years that professional drag racing has visited Louisiana and both the IHRA and Summit are excited to be bringing big league drag racing back to the area.

"We are thrilled that Summit Racing Equipment will be a part of our season opening race," said IHRA national sales director Tommy Dupree. "Summit has been a long time partner with IHRA and we couldn't ask for a better company to be a part of our brand new event."

The Summit Mardi Gras Nationals brought to you by Wolverine Boots and Academy Sports & Outdoors will be the first of 10 races on the 2009 Nitro Jam tour. It will feature three professional classes of racing including Top Fuel, Pro Modified and Pro Stock and hundreds of sportsman competitors capped off by the "Night of Fire" Saturday night.

Bob Gilbertson's Wife Passes Away

Sally Gilbertson, wife of Funny Car racer Bob Gilbertson, passed away Monday, Feb. 23, at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. She was 52. Sally was a loving mother, wife, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend.

She was born February 12, 1957, in Portland, Oregon, the daughter of Beverly Shaffer and the late Chester "Pat" Shaffer.

Mrs. Gilbertson attended nursing school in Portland and worked as a registered nurse for several years at CMC after moving to the Charlotte area in 1982. She and her husband started Truck Equipment Manufacturing Company of Charlotte in 1992.

In addition to her mother she is survived by her husband of 33 years, Bob Gilbertson; son and daughter-in-law Rob and Kristen Gilbertson of Harrisburg; daughter Sandy Ann Gilbertson a student at UNCC; and son Jake Gilbertson a student of Gaston Day School; her grandson Luke Gilbertson; brother and sister-in-law Greg and Betty Shaffer of Warren, OR; sister and brother-in-law Sandy and Dale Willocks of Charlotte; mother-in-law and father-in-law Maryann and Keith Manley of Boring, OR; numerous nieces and nephews; and several loving well dressed dogs.

The service to celebrate the life of Sally Gilbertson will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, 2009, at Bethlehem Church in Gastonia; burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery in Belmont.

A visitation is scheduled from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, at Withers & Whisenant Funeral Home in Gastonia.

Memorial contributions may be made to:
Gaston Humane Society
PO Box 2334
Gastonia, NC 28053-2334

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 6-8 PM.
Withers & Whisenant Funeral Home
2916 Union Road
Gastonia, NC 28054

Church Service:
Friday, Feb. 27, 2009 2 PM
Bethlehem Church
3100 Bethlehem Church Road
Belmont, NC 28054

Interment after Church service:
Evergreen Cemetery
1462 Armstrong Ford Road
Belmont, NC 28012

1927 Brogie Roadster....and forsale

This is a 1927 Ford Style Brogie Roadster, Originally built by Brogie Race Cars, that Race Craft Chassis has for sale. The chassis company took this on Trade for a new Dragster in November of 2008 and completely dis-assembled the car, updated the chassis to SFI 10.4 Specs, added helmet bars, and roll cage gussetts.

New innovations were also added, such as: Interior Lights, Glove Box etc. Interior Master Cut Off Switch

The complete chassis and interior were powder coated and the chassis was serialized as a 2009 Racecraft for NHRA Certification.

View More Photos of this Hot Rod

Morrell first female PXM rider

The gender barrier is about to be broken in Pro Extreme Motorcycle (PXM) as Kimberly Morrell of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, plans to make her National Guard American Drag Racing League (ADRL) debut Mar. 6-7, in the Safety-Kleen Dragpalooza V at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

Morell admits it may be a challenge to meet that deadline, but insists she and her new ride will be ready when it comes time for her to strap on the helmet.    

"They are putting together the bike at the very last minute," she says. "Let me put it this way, they will be wiring it on the way to Houston."

Riding an M&W Motorsports Suzuki, Morrell is sponsored by Palm Beach International Raceway, along with Bates Leathers and Underpressure from Dania Beach, Florida. Her Timblin Chassis-built machine carries a 1570cc Suzuki engine assembled and tuned by Dan Wagner of DTM Performance.

Morrell has been working for several months on putting together a PXM effort with Wagner, a top-level engine builder who also will serve as her crew chief, but the project became a reality only recently.   

Noted chassis man Walt Timblin also is building Morrell a new state-of-the-art PXM that she hopes to debut with the ADRL later this year.

Harold Martin's New M4 Car

In an automotive industry that is searching for positive news, Martin Industries is proud to announce the new Martin M4 car.  On February 22, 2009 at 2:00pm at the Martin Headquarters in New Hudson, Michigan, a private ceremony will be held to announce and unveil the new Martin M4 car.  Harold Martin, CEO and President of Martin Industries and creator of the M4 states, “We are extremely proud of this announcement and credit our entire team for all of the efforts to innovate, prototype and launch this new vehicle during these tough economic times.”
   The Martin organization has set a new standard for specialty vehicles and a niche market with their continuous record for high technology innovations.  The Martin team is a leader in performance engineering, manufacturing and Motorsports and has developed an amazing new vehicle consistent with their “Dreams are Possible” mantra that they have brought from concept to reality in less than one year.

New Bill for North Carolina Racers

Racers residing in North Carolina or traveling to North Carolina to race, whether they compete on bull-ring oval tracks, superspeedways, or drag strips, can breathe a little easier if House Bill 69 passes the Legislature this session. The bill, sponsored by NC State Representative Nelson Cole, working with former State Representative Karen Ray, addresses and defines the length for “vehicle combinations used in connection with motorsports competition events” that travel on North Carolina highways.

HB 69 provides that tractor and trailer combinations that do not exceed 90 feet may be legally operated on all state highways provided they are traveling “(1) to or from a motorsports competition event; (2) for trips conducted for the purpose of purchasing fuel or conducting repairs....on the competition vehicle; (3) for other activities related to motorsports purposes.”

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of former State Representative Karen Ray, who now serves as Business Affairs Director for the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA), working with the State Highway Patrol, the Department of Transportation, the Division of Motor Vehicles and legislators, House Bill 69 has been filed to address the length issues and concerns that surround racing in North Carolina,” said Steve Earwood, owner of Rockingham Dragway and Chairman of the NCMA’s Board of Directors.

“The NCMA works to grow and maintain the motorsports industry in North Carolina and those efforts may include working with our Legislature from time to time.  We appreciate the attention the General Assembly has given the industry in the past and look forward to working with them in the future on matters that affect the best interests of racing and related businesses in our State,” Earwood said.  “Motorsports has made its mark in North Carolina and our goal is to continue to be the “hub” of the industry.”                     

“Thank you to Representative Cole for his initiative in filing House Bill 69 and to the entire legislature for the support they have given us.”

Schippling commits to Quick 32

The recent announcement of the Quick 32 Sportsman Series presented by NAPA Auto Parts has T.J. Schippling very excited. Schippling and his Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper team are committed to the new Ontario-based series.
“I really can’t wait to start racing,” exclaimed Schippling. “I am very grateful to NAPA and everyone behind the series for making this a reality.
“The timing is perfect,” he continued. “This new series will provide us with an excellent platform to represent all the fine companies associated with our team. It’s our fifth year with Lucas Oil Canada. We have new marketing partners joining our team and I can’t think of a better value to them.”
The Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper dragster that Schippling has driven to so much success over the past few years will remain unchanged for the upcoming season. The Schippling Motorsports team is working with Marc McCrae and DRAGSTAR to debut a new dragster later in the year.
“The car Marc is building is going to be very trick,” said Schippling. “We are going to have several cool things surrounding this new car. We have a number of companies involved, and some promotions that will be released shortly.
“This series has created an opportunity to invest more in our program and it is essential we continue to be fast and competitive. I can’t thank the PMRA and NAPA enough.”

Barklage Racing goes ADRL in 2009

After a daunting 2008 season, the brother team of Zach and Cody Barklage are ready to take on the 2009 race season.  During 2008 the team suffered a series of on-the-track accidents leaving them to regroup over the winter.  Now, sporting a rebuilt car, new supercharger, and new attitude, the team will kick off the season with upcoming testing.

“We will take my car out this weekend and test in Houston, providing the weather is good” commented Cody Barklage.  “We’ve worked very hard this winter making the necessary changes we feel will make us more competitive.  With our new set-up, we plan on making a full season return with the ADRL, some SuperChevy Show Nitro Coupe, and possibly some local outlaw racing.  In the past, we were able to be a very strong, winning team.  This year we are ready to show our fans and sponsors we're still here and better then ever!”

Remaining at the helm of the operation, Crew Chief, Chad Wilson also has high hopes for 2009.

“We’ve worked very hard all winter,” said Wilson.  “Both cars needed a lot of work after last summer, so we took the time to not only rebuild but make some changes.  We anticipate Zach’s car to be finished sometime very soon, and hope to make it back out as a two car team early in the season.  Overall, we feel our hard work will pay off and we will be back in our usual top form.  I think we will have a definite competitive edge in 2009.”

In addition to the major car changes, the team also has a new addition.  During the off season, Cody Barklage married his long-time girlfriend Lacey Cowan.

“It was definitely a busy off season,” said Barklage.  “Lacey and I got married in October so between building our home this winter, being newly married, and working around the clock on the race car we’ve had our hands full.  Although the work was hard, I have no doubt it will all pay off in the end.”

The team has will first appear in competition with the ADRL, which will begin in only two weeks at Houston Raceway Park





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