IHRA Launches Summit Sportsman Spectacular Series in 2018
West Palm Beach, FL
With a focus on grassroots Sportsman racing, the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) has partnered with industry leader Summit Racing Equipment to produce 20 Summit Sportsman Spectacular races over 10 double-race weekends in 2018.
The Summit Sportsman Spectacular was created to provide a fun double-race weekend with increased purses that are affordable for grassroots bracket-racing competitors who support their local tracks each week.
"There are plenty of big-money races currently available for competitors willing to travel and spend $300 to $1,000 per weekend on entry fees," IHRA Vice President Skooter Peaco said. "That is not the bracket-racing program we are producing. The Summit Sportsman Spectacular events are designed with the majority of drag racers in mind. Most are looking for a fun and value-oriented event with affordable entry fees and solid payouts."
IHRA and Summit Racing Equipment have continually developed Sportsman programs like the successful Summit SuperSeries that create opportunity for the masses. The new program builds on that foundation.
"These new events continue that tradition and concentrate on the weekly racers who support their local tracks," Peaco said. "We will have an entry-fee price point that is extremely affordable and offers two events during the weekend."
The biggest value comes for anyone who pre-enters for the event online at ihra.com. All pre-entered racers will get a buy one / get one free offer to help kick off our 2018 season. When you pre-enter and buy an entry for Saturday's race, you will get a free entry for Sunday's race. Each IHRA partner track is working on what Saturday's purse will be for their specific event, but all the Sunday events will be at least $5,000-to-win races.
In addition to having the opportunity to get two races for the price of one, the Summit Sportsman Spectacular events feature a set of unique bonus opportunities for all current IHRA Summit SuperSeries racers. There is also an event winner, runner-up and semi-finals contingency program that is available for all IHRA members who advance to the final two rounds each day.
The weekend program includes a test & tune, racer appreciation cookout and a golf cart race. The race weekend features several rounds of prizes from some of the top name manufacturers. IHRA Ironman trophies and large championship checks for event winners will be presented Saturday and Sunday. IHRA partner Imagine That Customs will also award a custom painted one-of-a-kind trophy helmet to one competitor at each of the 10 weekends.
The races will be run as one-eighth mile events and will feature a Box class and a Junior Class. No Box cars are welcome to run and will be run separately down to one remaining No Box car before joining the Box class. The final No Box car will receive a $1,000 bonus. Door Cars and Dragsters will also be run separately in Box for the first four rounds. 11.90 and slower Junior Dragsters will be run separately down to one remaining vehicle before joining the rest of the Junior category.
The Summit Sportsman Spectacular is also unique in that there will be no double entries.
"If a competitor has two different vehicles they are welcome to enter them both but our events won't allow racers to enter the same car multiple times" Peaco said. "Allowing multiple entries caters to a select few to create an unfair advantage and that is not what this series is about."
"We understand the financial gain that other events receive from allowing this but our program is about creating value and opportunity for bracket racers in different geographical regions who otherwise don't have the chance to participate. That is one reason why we will accept any valid competition license, including NHRA licenses. There are a lot of built-in benefits and bonuses for IHRA members within these races. We encourage racers to become an IHRA members, but you don't have to be an IHRA member to participate."
The Summit Sportsman Spectacular events will be organized and administered by IHRA Division Directors Jon O'Neal, Frank Kohutek and Josh Peake while Senior Director of Racing Operations Mike Baker continues to manage technical aspects and tech administration for the new program. The IHRA divisional staff will be on hand at each of the 10 event weekends to handle IHRA membership registration and renewals, tech and race operations in conjunction with the host facility staff.
The list of host tracks, event dates, rules and online pre-entry registration will be finalized by November 30th.