Drag racing will take on a whole new dimension in 2014, as the International Hot Rod Association™ (IHRA) and IRG Sports + Entertainment™ (IRG) have recently announced an all-new series set to debut in 2014. The Sonic Rush Tour™, built on a foundation of family-friendly, thrill-driven motorsports entertainment, will visit 13 cities in nine states.
"The Sonic Rush Tour is designed to give motorsports fans a show they won't find anywhere else in the sport. Jam-packed with a variety of jets, wheelstanders and thrill acts from around the world, the Sonic Rush Tour will build on the foundation set by the former Thunder Jam series with an enhanced show, an expanded lineup and a larger reach in markets throughout the U.S.," noted Jason Rittenberry, CFE, President and Chief Executive Officer of IRG.
Among the highlights of the debut season is a stop at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas on September 27, a trip to Tulsa Raceway Park on November 1, a pair of shows at Edinburg Raceway on April 5 and November 15, and events at the IRG family of tracks including Memphis International Raceway (August 2), Palm Beach International Raceway (October 4), and Southwestern International Raceway (October 18).
Other stops on the Sonic Rush Tour in 2014 include Immokalee Regional Raceway (March 15), Kanawha Valley Motorsports Park (June 21), Union County Dragway (June 28), Galot Motorsports Park (July 12), Carolina Dragway (August 16) and San Antonio Raceway (November 29).
"This is an exciting time to be a motorsports fan. We live in an era where anything is possible in the name of great family entertainment, as brave daredevils around the world strap jets to anything with wheels and continue to seek out ways to push the limits of man and machine," said Jim Marchyshyn, Vice President of the IHRA's Sonic Rush Tour presented by AMSOIL. "As part of that rich tradition of motorsports-driven entertainment, we are thrilled to debut the Sonic Rush Tour in 2014 to fans throughout the United States. This unique series will present fans with three hours of non-stop entertainment featuring some of the wildest and most exciting machines ever built."
Among the machines that will populate the lineup of the Sonic Rush Tour in 2014 will be the brand new X-Treme Shockwave, a 30,000 horsepower jet-powered semi-truck with enough force blasting from its massive jet engine to topple a building. Other jet acts will include the uniquely designed Queen of Diamonds jet dragster, piloted by the world famous Jill Canuso, and the world's only jet-powered Funny Cars.
Other acts will include the world-renowned Chevy Rebellion wheelstander driven by Richard Hutchins, the Candyland stagecoach wheelstander driven by wild man Ed Jones, and the complete collection of Mike West's unique contraptions including the car-eating Megasaurus and a wild set of jet-powered vehicles including a golf cart, a smart car and even a flame-throwing recliner.
"Nothing is out of the question in the name of entertainment and we plan to celebrate that innovation and dedication to the entertainment of thousands by bringing the world's most exciting exhibition vehicles to a city near you," Marchyshyn continued.
Fans of the IHRA will have a lot to look forward to when the Sonic Rush Tour visits Palm Beach International in October. Recent investment in the facility, as well as improved fan areas, have resulted in a world-class racing venue located miles from one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. This new investment has also led to increased sponsorship at the facility, and the Drag Strip's Lane 2 scoreboard now bears the LKQ logo, each timing slip printed for a Drag Strip pass now has LKQ designated for Lane 2, and public address announcements now refer to the right lane as LKQ Pick Your Part Lane 2.
"I am proud to announce our new partnership with sponsor LKQ Pick Your Parts. We look forward to maintaining a 3-year relationship with LKQ as the naming rights sponsor of Lane 2 on the Drag Strip. After several meetings and discussions with Plant Manager Rod Donhoff of the Riviera Beach location regarding their yards in Palm Beach County and their needs to market themselves, it made sense for LKQ to choose one of our largest pieces of real estate here at the track for the next 3 years," noted Jackie Rea, Director of Business Development at PBIR.
With more than 50 locations across the U.S. recycling more than 500,000 vehicles a year, LKQ Pick Your Part is a leading source for high quality, low cost used auto parts. South Florida locations include West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
Although times have been tough for the past few years, it appears that the tide has finally turned as individuals are desperately seeking reasonably priced entertainment options for themselves and their loved ones. Facilities such as PBIR are poised to reap the benefits of these underserved populations, and the race fan, for one, wishes them all the success in the world.
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