The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a regulation to prohibit the conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into race cars.

Please call or email your elected officials and voice your concerns about the EPA. IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Our Senators and U.S. Representatives are not our opposition here, so please be cordial with whomever you talk with.

Our two North Carolina Senators are:
Senator Richard Burr 202 224-3154 burr.senate.gov
Senator Thom Tillis 202 224-6342 tillis.senate.gov

To contact your North Carolina Congressman, go to house.gov, click on Representatives and find your Congressman under North Carolina. You will need to know what district you are in.

I am planning to join a contingent of motorsports representatives in Washington during May to contact members of Congress to express my concerns about this outrageous obstruction.

Steve Earwood

WASHINGTON, D.C. — If the Environmental Protection Agency has its way, many grassroots racers will be facing some large hurdles in their quests to race competitively.

The EPA has proposed a regulation to prohibit the conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into race cars. The regulation would also make the sale of certain products for use on such vehicles illegal.

The proposed regulation was contained within a non-related proposed regulation entitled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles — Phase 2.”

The regulation would impact all vehicle types, including the sports cars, sedans and hatch-backs commonly converted strictly for use at the track. While the Clean Air Act prohibits certain modifications to motor vehicles, it is clear that vehicles built or modified for racing, and not used on the streets, are not the “motor vehicles” that Congress intended to regulate.

The Specialty Equipment Market Ass’n is among the organizations lobbying on behalf of racers.

“This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “Congress did not intend the original Clean Air Act to extend to vehicles modified for racing and has re-enforced that intent on more than one occasion.”

SEMA submitted comments in opposition to the regulation and met with the EPA to confirm the agency’s intentions. The EPA indicated that the regulation would prohibit conversion of vehicles into race cars.

Working with other affected organizations, including those representing legions of professional and hobbyist racers and fans, SEMA will continue to oppose the regulation through the administrative process and will seek congressional support and judicial intervention as necessary.

The EPA issued a statement clarifying the legislation on Tuesday afternoon:
“People may use EPA-certified motor vehicles for competition, but to protect public health from air pollution, the Clean Air Act has – since its inception – specifically prohibited tampering with or defeating the emission control systems on those vehicles,” the agency said in its statement.

“The proposed regulation that SEMA has commented on does not change this long-standing law, or approach. Instead, the proposed language in the Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas rulemaking simply clarifies the distinction between motor vehicles and nonroad vehicles such as dirt bikes and snowmobiles. Unlike motor vehicles – which include cars, light trucks, and highway motorcycles – nonroad vehicles may, under certain circumstances, be modified for use in competitive events in ways that would otherwise be prohibited by the Clean Air Act.

“EPA is now reviewing public comments on this proposal.”

An online petition is circulating against the legislation. View it at
World’s Largest All-Chevrolet Drag Race and Car Show Boasts 12-Race Slate
READING, Pa. – The Super Chevy Show series, owned by SCSW, LLC, will return to Epping, N.H., for the first time in 10 years, make its first appearance in Shreveport, La., and work with a new management team in Topeka, Kan., as part of a 12-state tour that features some of the quickest and most aesthetically-pleasing Chevrolets on the planet.

Everything from Corvettes to Corvairs, Impalas to El Caminos, Camaros to Cobalts, Biscaynes to Bel Airs, Malibus to Monte Carlos, Nomads to Luminas, Tahoes to Suburbans, Colorados to Silverados, Cavaliers to Vegas, Berettas to Blazers and Chevy IIs to Chevelles will be on display during the new season.

If it boasts a bow tie, it likely will be represented on the track, in the car show, car corral or at the swap meet that anchor the world’s largest all-Chevy drag race and car show. The Chevrolet smorgasbord once again will be televised as the Menards Chevy Series on the Velocity Network in the fourth quarter of 2016.

According to Lex Dudas, General Manager of Maple Grove Raceway and president of the association that produces the Super Chevy Show Series along with the Fun Ford Series and the Mega Mopar Series, the 2016 Super Chevy Show schedule is the most diverse in history with stops in California, Texas, Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, North Carolina and Colorado as well as New Hampshire and Louisiana.

“It’s always great to be able to introduce the Super Chevy Show to new audiences,” Dudas said, “and we’re excited about taking the show into Shreveport and back to Epping. Chevy is as American as it gets and Chevy enthusiasts are the most loyal you’ll find. That’s why the Menards Chevy Series has been so successful.”

New host track operators also are excited about the series. Joe Lombardo, General Manager at New England Dragway said, “the Epping track previously hosted a Super Chevy Show almost 10 years ago and it was so popular that we have had car clubs continue to ask us ever since if we will get one back. Now we have that opportunity on a long term basis and are excited about joining the other tracks in the series.”

Chris Payne a member of the new ownership group at Heartland Park Topeka is looking forward to hosting a great event for car clubs in Kansas and surrounding states, and utilizing their entire multi-purpose facility. Chris described it as “Heartland Park Topeka was built for events the size of a Super Chevy Show. We have enough paved pit area for car clubs from all over to park together and make a festive weekend out of it. At the same time they can race their car down the drag strip that NHRA stars compete on, and we plan to have autocross or a road course challenge that participants can tryout as well.”

- View 2016 Super Chevy Show Schedule
The Roy Hill Drag Racing School will hold a special session for Jr. Dragsters on Monday following the 3rd Annual Jr. Dragster Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway, March 18-20.

Instructor Roy Hill and his staff will focus on safety, a thorough review of equipment, how to overcome intimidation and how improve skills as confidence increases. Unlimited runs are guaranteed.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, March 22 and 23, the school will focus on the big cars and is open to any
vehicle with an emphasis on the COPO Camaro, Hellcats, and Cobra Jet Mustangs, led by the record setting Carl Tasco of Tasco Racing fame. Contact the school at 336 498-4875 for more information.

Jet Dragster, Super Stock Hemi Shootout Among Features at All-Chrysler Event
ROCKINGHAM – Griffin Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Ram of Rockingham will return as title sponsor of the Silver Anniversary edition of MOPARS at the Rock, the all-Chrysler auto-fest that has been a staple at Rockingham Dragway since shortly after the track was purchased by Steve Earwood in 1992.

The 25th annual Griffin Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram Mega MOPARS at the Rock will be contested April 2 with an all-star program that will feature a Super Stock Hemi Shootout as well as a special performance by Rockingham’s own Terry Rosberg and his 300 mile per hour jet dragster.

“We are delighted to have Mike Griffin and all his team members at Griffin Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep[/Ram back as partners in the 25th anniversary Mega MOPARS at the Rock,” Earwood said. “It is because of the support of dealerships like Griffin Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram that this event has been one of the most successful in the country.

“We’re particularly excited about bringing back the Super Stock Hemi Shootout which has become a hit on the NHRA national tour,” he continued, “and we’re fortunate that one of the nation’s best hemi racers, Bob Reed, lives in Salisbury and will be here to represent for the Carolinas. Other pre-entries in the Hemi Shootout include Matt Hensley of Knoxville.”
Hot Rods, Hemis, Harleys, Pro Mods and Maniacs Share the New Year Spotlight

ROCKINGHAM – Music, motorcycles and Maniacs. Smoke outs, burnouts and call outs. Hot rods, hemis and Harleys. Bow ties, blue ovals and bracket bombers. If it rolls – or even crawls and climbs, it’ll race this season at Rockingham Dragway where on Tuesday, owner Steve Earwood released a 2016 schedule that starts in February and runs well into December.

“We try not to be too predictable,” said the man who has taken The Rock from a track that once ran only two races a year to one that next season will host 48 different events plus Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School and private test sessions for touring pros competing on the NHRA, IHRA, AMRA and PDRA tours.

Earwood is especially excited about the third annual PDRA Spring Nationals, April 7-9, that will feature the world’s quickest eighth mile Pro Modifieds, Top Dragsters and Top Sportsman cars and about a couple of events that feature people power instead of horsepower.

“Last year, one of the big success stories was the Rugged Maniac series,” Earwood said “It has nothing to do with cars, trucks or motorcycles. It’s a bunch of athletic-types running through an obstacle course and then sharing a beverage or two at the finish line.

“It was such a hit last season that we’ve added a second race next year,” he said. “We’ll have one in May and then we’ll come back and do it again in October. Who would’ve thought people would respond to a race without wheels? It’s just a fun event. Not something you’d want to do every week, but it’s a nice break.”

Not that there won’t be a full complement of traditional events at the track including the Dieffenbach Super Store Super Chevy Show presented by the Richmond County Tourism Authority, the NHRA Lucas Oil Series, the AMRA’s Jim McClure Nitro Bike Nationals, the Roush Yates Sportsman Wars series and the Phantasm Motorsports Street Wars series featuring the KMS Drift series.

The Phantasm series has quietly become one of the most popular for Sandhills area racers which is reflected in the fact that it will expand in 2016 to six events including a two-day finale Nov. 12-13.

Other returning Rockingham staples include the third annual Jr. Dragster Southeast Nationals (March 19-20), the second Spring Bracket Nationals (April 22-24)the 18th annual Big John Memorial Weekend Bracket Nationals, the Inaugural Top ET Challenge, Tony Saraceni’s Carolina Powerfest 4, Mopars at the Rock and the Hoosier Carolina Coalition Series.

- VIEW NOW!  2016 Rockingham Dragway Schedule
Awards Continue to Pile Up for Rockingham Dragway Owner and President

Rockingham Dragway owner Steve Earwood, who next March will be inducted into Don Garlits’ International Drag Racing Hall of Fame as the 2016 recipient of the Founders Award, picked up some additional hardware at last week’s Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show in Indianapolis where he was recognized as the Professional Drag Racing Association’s 2015 Promoter of the Year.

Earwood, National Media Relations Director for the NHRA during that organization’s biggest growth period, fulfilled a dream when he bought Rockingham Dragway from the L.G. Dewitt family in 1992 and transformed it from a drag racing facility that ran only two events a year to one of the most active tracks in the nation.

The PDRA is just the most recent organization to recognize Earwood’s promotional skill. He twice was named the IHRA’s Promoter of the Year (2001 and 2008) and his work in building the NHRA’s Winston Invitational into the most successful all-star event in the sport’s history was a key element in his induction into the NHRA’s Southeast Division Hall of Fame.

A founding member and current chairman of the North Carolina Motorsports Association, Earwood also serves on North Carolina’s Governor’s Motorsports Advisory Council and is a voting board member of the National Fire Protection Association, which was responsible for drafting document 610 that serves as a fire safety guideline for all forms of motor racing.

A member of the board of the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce as well as of Racers for Christ International, Earwood managed NHRA’s national media relations program from 1975 through 1982. Subsequently, he served as Marketing Vice-President of Billy Meyer’s Texas Motorplex, Vice-President, General Manager and co-owner of Atlanta Dragway and as a Public Relations consultant to Raymond Beadle’s Blue Max NASCAR Racing Team when it won the Winston Cup championship (with driver Rusty Wallace) in 1989.

The PDRA, which contests season championships in three different outlaw Pro Mod categories, will return to Rockingham Dragway April 7-9 for the third annual PDRA Spring Nationals. The Rock will open informally on Feb. 28 for an all makes test-and-tune session. It officially will open March 5-7 with the annual Racers Appreciation free entry bracket race.

Photo: Gary Rowe / RaceWorks.com
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