The Race Track Business Conference (RTBC) has awarded Jason Rittenberry, President & Chief Executive Officer of IRG Sports + Entertainment™ (IRG), the “Innovator of the Year” award. The inaugural award was presented by Diamond Ticketing Systems at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis, Indiana last week.
“IRG has been rapidly expanding their presence on and off the track and on multiple platforms, raising the bar for the industry,” said David Hutton, VP of Diamond Ticketing Systems.
“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the entire team at IRG, the IHRA and our track properties. We continue to implement our vision to transform the sport of drag racing for the fans and racers. 2014 was a tremendous year for us, but I am even more excited and optimistic about what we have planned for 2015,” said Jason Rittenberry, President & CEO of IRG Sports + Entertainment™ (IRG).
“We are pleased that the award has been presented at the Race Track Business Conference,” said Tim Frost, the organizer of the event. “We also welcome Diamond Ticketing Systems as the official ticketing partner of the event.”
About IRG Sports + Entertainment™
IRG Sports + Entertainment™ (IRG) is a leading purveyor of sports and live entertainment experiences and is the privately-held parent company of International Raceway Group™ (IRG), IRGSE Productions™, and the International Hot Rod Association™ (IHRA). IRG owns and operates Palm Beach International Raceway™ (PBIR), Palm Beach Driving Club® (PBDC), Memphis International Raceway™ (MIR), Southwestern International Raceway™ (SWIR), Cordova International Raceway™ (CIR), and Maryland International Raceway™ (MDIR). Located in Jupiter, Florida, PBIR is the company’s flagship and home to PBDC, a private members-only club for automotive enthusiasts. The facility features a challenging 2.034-mile asphalt Road Course, an exciting 1/4-mile concrete Drag Strip, a thrilling 8/10-mile Kart Track, and a 250-foot-long Mud Bog. Acquired in January 2011, MIR is a highly acclaimed motorsports facility located in Millington, Tennessee, featuring a formidable 1.8-mile asphalt Road Course, a riveting 1/4-mile Drag Strip, and an enthralling 3/4-mile Tri-Oval Short Track. Added to the IRG portfolio of brands in August 2013, SWIR is a 110-acre venue located at the Pima County Fairgrounds, 10 miles from downtown Tucson, Arizona. The track features a dedicated quarter-mile Drag Strip and first opened in August 1997. CIR is a 190-acre venue in Cordova, Illinois, featuring a 1/4-mile Drag Strip. It hosts the popular World Series of Drag Racing and frequent street drags and bracket racing programs. Acquired in November 2014, MDIR is located in the Baltimore/DC metro market and features a world class 1/4-mile drag strip. It hosts more than 80 events annually, including the World Cup Finals™. Owned and operated since January 2013 by IRG, IHRA is the second-largest drag racing and fourth-largest motorsports sanctioning body. The 44-year-old organization manages two national touring series, the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series™ and Sonic Rush Tour™. With headquarters in Norwalk, Ohio, IHRA sanctions more than 110 motorsports facilities in the U.S. and Canada and has more than 12,000 racers of all skill levels as members. IRG’s subsidiaries now promote more than 950 motorsports, live entertainment and corporate events annually at its venues and series. IRG is also affiliated with Miami’s Auto Museum at The Dezer Collection, Palm Beach Grand Prix, Super Chevy Show Series, Fun Ford Series, and Mega Mopar Action Series.
About Diamond Ticketing Systems
Diamond Ticketing Systems (www.diamondticketing.com) is a leading provider of full-featured, hybrid ticketing software systems for racetrack and motorsport venues. It provides powerful ticketing software products and consulting services to a huge array of customers in a broad range of markets, processing millions of tickets at the box office, on-line and on mobile devices. Diamond Ticketing Systems is the official Ticketing Partner of the Race Track Business Conference.
About Race Track Business Conference
The annual Race Track Business Conference (www.racetrackbusinessconference.com) hosted by the National Speedway Directory provides a platform for industry leaders to collaborate, analyze, and conceptualize around the business of motorsports. Shared insights from all forms of racing create dialogue and interaction in a unique intellectual environment.
About Performance Racing Industry
Performance Racing Industry, (www.performanceracing.com) monthly business magazine, is recognized as “The Voice of the Racing Marketplace.” Targeted at the racing trade, PRI connects manufacturers of racing products and technology with the distribution channels of retailers, builders, distributers, and teams. The PRI Show is the world’s largest auto racing trade show.
DECEMBER 11, 2014 – Longtime sponsor of the Super Chevy Show presented by Chevrolet Performance, Original Parts Group (OPGI) will return for the 2015 season and is ramping up the partnership by adding a feature segment on the new Super Chevy Show TV program on Velocity network to air October through December.
Each episode of the Super Chevy Show will feature the “OPGI Original Award” segment that will highlight a selected Chevelle or Chevelle car club from each of the 12 events.
“We are thrilled to have Original Parts Group give our Chevelle enthusiasts a chance to have their cars featured on Velocity this upcoming season,” said Sara Griewing, Manufacturers Series Director.
We know the hard work it takes to get a car ready for a show and we’re looking forward to seeing all of the online submissions for the special OPGI Original Award and to present the special trophy to commemorate the victory and display the months between the event and when the episode airs.”
To be considered for the OPGI Original Award feature segment at one of the 12 Super Chevy Show events, Chevelle owners and clubs will be required to submit an online application in advance. Online entries will be accepted for the 2015 season starting in January at www.superchevyshow.com. Winners will be contacted in advance and must be in attendance of the selected event in order to be eligible.
“Here at OPGI, we are proud of our long-standing participation in the premier national event for millions of Chevrolet enthusiasts. Offering something for everyone, from high-powered Chevy racing action to the best Bowtie show cars, the televised Super Chevy Show has become the best brand-specific event in the country” said OPGI Chief Operating Officer, Tony Genty.
In addition, OPGI will continue to support the Super Chevy Show by providing the participant goodie bags and other promotional items, as well as extend their tenure as the presenting sponsor of the Maple Grove Raceway (July 17-19) and Auto Club Famoso Raceway (November 7-8) events.
About Original Parts Group Inc.
Original Parts Group is the largest automotive restoration parts company in the United States. Original Parts Group has over 75,000 classic GM restoration parts and high performance accessories. They have the largest selection of Chevelle, El Camino, Monte Carlo, GTO, Le Mans, Tempest, Grand Prix, Bonneville, Catalina, Cutlass, 4-4-2, Skylark, GS, Riviera and Cadillac classic parts in the world. Dedication to research and development, product excellence, and outstanding customer service has helped build the business into what it is today. Visit their web page at: www.opgi.com
About Super Chevy Shows
The Super Chevy Show tour is the premier national event for all Chevrolet enthusiasts offering something for everyone. From high-powered Chevy racing action to the spectacular show cars at the top NHRA and IHRA tracks across the country. The Series boasts one of the nation’s finest Performance & Restoration Midways for GM products, as well as a Swap Meet and Car Corral at most events. Kids are always welcome to take part in the free Revell Make ‘N Take activity each day to build their own model car to keep. The Super Chevy Show is widely considered the best brand-specific event in the country. For more information, visit: www.superchevyshow.com
Accomplished Funny Car Driver, Scott Weney did more than live life a quarter-mile at a time. Weney was known for many things in addition to his role as President of the family business S&W Race Cars that was started by his father Walt in 1959 the same year he was born; he was a national racing champ, master race car builder and most recently a race promoter, however, most notably Weney was a family man and he did it all while sporting his signature mustache.
On Tuesday, November 18, 2014 while promoting his newest venture, the Fun in the Sun Race Series, the drag racing legend suffered what ended up being a fatal episode of cardiac arrest while at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida and passing away during treatment in an area hospital Intensive Care Unit that Wednesday.
All are welcome to attend the “Celebration of Life” for Scott Weney, December 13, 2014 at the Parkerford Church, located at 20 Rinehart Road, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, officiated by Racers for Christ Chaplains Marty Rinehart Jr., and Dale Ressler. The welcoming line will begin at 10:00am and the service at 12:30pm.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Racers for Christ Division 1 or Division 2, P.O. Box 1208, Gilbert, Arizona 85299.
“Scott Weney is now racing through the pearly gates and doing it at full throttle. Scott is survived by wife Candi, sons Rory and Dillon, brothers Michael and Gary, sister Terri, parents Walter and Vonda. The entire Weney family wants to express their gratitude to everyone who has prayed and offered support during these difficult days. They also wanted to clearly state that Scott spent his last moments at a place that he considered ‘home,’ which is the drag strip. His accomplishments are many and too numerous to list, but his most impressive include winning the 2000 IHRA Funny Car World Championship, becoming the President of S&W Race Cars, and his latest achievement of becoming a race series promoter, forming S&S Race Promotions with Scotty Richardson and launching the ‘Fun in the Sun’ Race Series. Please keep Scott and his family in your prayers. We will post additional details as soon as they become available,” said Jill Canuso, Marketing Director and Spokesperson for S&W Race Cars.
Deeply saddened by the news of the passing of celebrated racer Scott Weney, the Manufacturers Series would like to thank S&W Race Cars for direction to FuelCoupe.com’s April 2014 article of Master Builders highlighting the experiences of Weney’s life in the shop and on the track that contributed to his successful and rewarding career as the President of S&W Race Cars and championship drag racer.
Scott Weney’s love for drag racing and longing to drive funny cars, which later became a robust career started well before the age of ten when he began sweeping the floors and asking drivers questions in the S&W Race Cars’ Spring City, Pennsylvania shop.
Weney’s education in what it takes to run a prosperous business and be a championship drag racer began early on as he performed odd jobs around the shop and taking every opportunity to learn as much as possible from experienced drivers as they discussed their passes down the strip.
By the age of 13, Weney was already mastering how to weld and fit tubing on S&W’s customers race cars while learning what to do and what not to do from drivers mistakes on the track. Though Weney had not run a quarter-mile himself yet, at age 15 he was well on his way to becoming a title driver when he started working on the crew for famed racers Jim Fox, and later Roy Harris in addition to his duties at the shop.
Two years later, in 1976 Weney ran his first passes and earned his drag racing license at Manufacturers Series host track, Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania to compete in his first competition that winter in Salinas Puerto Rico.
Weney proved that he knew what it took to be a victorious racer by the end of his first season, when he became the NHRA Division 1 Pro Comp Points Champ in 1977. Scott Weney continued to prove his prowess on the track until his last title in 2013 as the Atco Top Dragster Points Championship winner, with countless national event wins, divisional championships, as national record holder as well as the 2000 IHRA Funny Car World Championship winner and two-time NHRA Keystone Nationals Champ.
Taking cues from all his experiences in the shop and on the track, with a childhood of listening to drivers talk about solving tuning issues while becoming a master car builder himself, Weney incorporated his lifetime of skills into making S&W Race Cars continue to grow and thrive as a family business, as well paying it forward as a sponsor and promoter of grassroots racing events, ensuring future of the sport.
As President of S&W Race Cars, Weney supported the Manufacturers Series events Super Chevy Show, Fun Ford Series and Mega Mopar Action Series, respectively with the CamaroGuys Gen 5 Challenge, MustangGuys Fastest 5.0 Shootout and Challenger Shootout drag racing classes, all presented by S&W Race Cars designed to encourage late-model muscle to give the quarter-mile a try. With only one power-adder allowed and DOT legal, these classes frequently have up to 20 street-performance racers competing for the limited-edition custom CNC Machined chrome trophy at each of the 33 Manufacturers Series events across the country between Chevy, Ford and Mopar brands.