How has the IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular improved in its second year? We are at the halfway point in the series and in general the series has seen significant growth in terms of participation versus 2018. We have fought some weather issues like we did last season at State Capitol or having to reschedule Xtreme Raceway and most recently having to split after third round of the second day at Dragway 42 due to weather. It certainly has not been easy, but two of the four events drew over 300 cars and our largest event last year was 256 entries. Overall, we are pretty pleased that bracket racers are discovering the value in this program but there is still a lot of work to be done and a lot more potential in the series. How has the decision to tailor the program to the individual tracks worked? Last year, our model was to provide the largest purse for the least amount of entry fee but to do that we had to condense classes or leave out classes that otherwise wanted to participate. One of IHRA’s core value has always been to create opportunity for sportsman racers so modeling each event to the track or region was the logical choice. “Each event has its own format and structure which seems to be going over better than taking one format and structure around to different regions. The IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular has given many drivers a chance to be a winner through the round prize winners. As a former racer, how can drivers better take advantage of the contingency program? A large part of my racing program was always trying to be prepared. That applied to not only the race car, motorhome and trailer but to the opportunities that existed for me should I happen to find the final round. monetary and in prestige. It is the only bracket program that puts all the best racers in one spot in head-to-head competition as well as the only program to pay out $200,000 in prize money. This series lives at IHRA member tracks all year long and is nurtured by IHRA’s member track operators and their staff. We simply bring it all together in Memphis for the Summit World Finals and that really is a culmination of the work our tracks do during the season. Over the past year, we’ve seen multiple tracks join the IHRA and existing member tracks sign multi-year agreements. Why is important for a track to have that IHRA sanction? We believe an IHRA sanction gives weekly bracket racers more opportunity at a lower cost. Our focus continues to be on providing our member tracks the foundation on which to build their programs while providing them unmatched customer service at a great overall value. Q&A We catch up with International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Vice President Skooter Peaco to talk about the IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular, the IHRA Summit SuperSeries, how some racers are passing up free money and why IHRA sanction is important for race tracks. We have manufacturers willing to hand our members money for using their product or in some cases like Summit Racing, simply running their decal. There is a published list of these companies that lives on or has been talked about in press releases for months leading up to the start of the season. The list is posted on the IHRA trailer at the event and some decals are even available at the trailer. The Summit decals get handed to racers as they go through tech and yet some racers still don’t take the time to put these decals on and find themselves passing up free money in the finals. Preparing yourself to maximize your winnings requires a little homework before the event takes place. Racers do have to actively participate in the process. For years, bracket racers have wanted the kind of manufacturer and sponsor support as the class racing guys have enjoyed and the IHRA is trying to bring that support to them through the contingency and round prize programs. This money doesn’t just fall out of the sky though. Racers need to do their part to make sure they get the claims. The more claims and more money the sponsors pay out the more they value the program and the more new sponsors IHRA can bring in. The less we pay out to racers the less the sponsors see the value in the program and that money dries up. Now 18 years strong, what is the key to the success of the IHRA Summit SuperSeries? The key to the success of the IHRA Summit SuperSeries is clearly Summit Racing Equipment and our member track operators. Summit is the world leader in supporting grassroots drag racing and they have time and time again given back to the racers and families that support their business. IHRA’s track operators understand the importance of the program and what it does to elevate bracket racing to national prominence at the weekly level. The Summit SuperSeries has a tremendous amount of value both We take great pride in our relationships with our member tracks and our division directors Jon O’Neal, Frank Kohutek and Josh Peake are the front lines of that relationship. They are out there every day assisting their tracks or being a resource when a question or problem arises. They have real relationships with their tracks. That also spills over to our tracks being able to quickly get access to Mike Baker on rules or competition issues or getting a membership or license issue handled with Tamie Defranzo quickly. Our tracks have complete access to any of us without having to go through layers of people. Our tracks and our members are our extended family and that approach has proven to be successful through all the turbulent times IHRA has endured in the last 10 years. We are very proud of the fact that many of our 85 tracks have been with us for decades. We don’t ever take those relationships for granted which is what keeps us working hard to move IHRA forward every season. 5 Questions with Skooter Peaco IHRA Vice President 7 6