On Thursday before the 45th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey, a quartet of John Force Racing drivers joined my family matriarch Laurie Force were guests on The Better Show with hosts JD Roberto and Rebecca Budig. The drivers including 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, 2009 Funny Car champion Robert Hight, Kansas Nationals winner and 100th female NHRA pro winner Courtney Force and Kansas Nationals No. 1 qualifier and 2013 Rookie of the Year Brittany Force talked about racing at over 300 mph as well as their non-traditional family dynamic.
“I always said racing took my family away from me because I was on the road when my girls were growing up. Now racing has given my family back to me since we are racing and winning together. It was fun to be on The Better Show since it helps us promote NHRA, our sponsors and my family to a whole new audience,” said John Force.
The Better Show featuring John Force Racing will air on June 5. The Better Show is a daily TV show produced by Meredith Corporation, which publishes Better Homes and Gardens, More, Fitness, Ladies’ Home Journal and many more magazines. It is a nationally syndicated lifestyle TV program which aims to make their viewers life "Better" by focusing on Easy Recipes and Low Cost Meals, Beauty Breakthroughs, Money Matters, Health and Wellness, Decorating and all hot topics that affect their family and relationships. Some of our past celebrity guests include LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Ann Inaba, Clay Walker, Eva Longoria, Nicholas Sparks, Blake Lively and numerous reality and other high profile celebrities.
Otis "Otie” Smith, the 1959 Middle Eliminator winner at the Nationals in Detroit, died May 23. He was 94.
Along with Art and Walt Arfons and Arlen Vanke, Smith was one of hot rodding heroes to come out of Akron, Ohio, and an early supporter of NHRA, running the regional in his hometown there before the nationals were even established and racing all over the Midwest, but also took trips to Florida, Maine, and California.
An avowed lifelong “car nut” – he began driving his father’s 1929 Model A Ford before he reached his teen years --Smith began racing in 1953, driving a 1932 Ford Roadster at the Akron airport track, and by his estimation went on to compete in about 100 NHRA events in his 13-year career. Smith also operated Otie’s Automotive Specialties in Akron for 33 years until 1988. Asked once why he liked to drive fast, Smith replied, “You got to be a little nuts. It was just fun. That's all.”
Smith is survived by wife, Betty; son Bill, daughters Debbie Hughes and Laurie Smith, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Eight-time FIA Pro Stock champion Jimmy Alund will fly the Summit Racing Equipment colors in 2014 as he chases a historic ninth FIA Pro Stock championship.
Alund had returned to Sweden after substituting for Greg Anderson in his Summit Racing Camaro for the first five races of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Ålund gathered not only qualifying and round points but capped of his 2014 season in the USA with a win at the 5th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, becoming being the first European driver to win a Wally in an NHRA professional class.
"I am stunned, these positive hits from Summit Racing keep coming," said Alund. "When the Summit Pro Stock racing team asked me to drive one of their cars it took me by complete surprise and last week Jim Greenleaf, Summit Racing’s Motorsports and Events Manager, called and politely asked if I would accept an associate sponsorship for 2014.
"The 2014 season has been a dream so far and to get to drive for such a legendary team sponsored by the finest business in the industry is a great honor. Add to that a sponsorship from Summit Racing for the European racing season... I'm at a loss for words."
“Jimmy Alund filled in for Team Summit’s Greg Anderson while the four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion recovered from heart surgery at the start of the 2014 season. Greg’s are big shoes to fill; and fill them Jimmy did,” said Greenleaf, Summit Racing’s Motorsports and Event Manager. “Summit Racing is very excited to extend the relationship as Jimmy competes in the 2014 FIA Drag Race Series in Europe. We’ve learned that the eight-time FIA Pro Stock Champion is very interested in American muscle cars. It’s a great fit!”
DiPinto International Logistics of Monroe Township, N.J., sponsoring Jim Dunn Racing to develop new business relationships. Race fans will begin to see the www.DiPintoIntl.com logo on the Hall of Fame team owner’s Funny Car beginning at the NHRA national event in Topeka, Kan.
The Jim Dunn Racing Grime Boss Dodge Funny Car, which campaigns in the NHRA Mello Yello series, will display the DiPinto International Logistics logo on the rear quarter-panel thru a business-to-business promotion that will introduce DiPinto to race fans in the northeastern U.S. that rely on daily warehousing and transportation needs.
“I grew up around drag racing and want to have customers connected to our company that are involved in the sport where we can do business together and generate support for the race team,” said Rob DiPinto, owner of DiPinto International Logistics. “We have 250,000 square feet of warehouse space located just 10 minutes from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, and when the Jim Dunn Racing team comes to Englishtown, in a few weeks, we also hope to connect with fans that are certified drivers and can consider coming to work for our company, as we are in need of over-the-road drivers in the northeast.”
DiPinto International Logistics primarily serves customers within a 500 mile radius of their home base near the Jersey shore, which includes the states of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Connecticut through truckload and less-than-truckload transportation, as well as just-in-time delivery through warehouse and packaging programs that service daily customers in the northeast. DiPinto also operates at the ports of New York and New Jersey and specializes in full container drayage by providing door-to-door service to their worldwide customer base.
Jeff Arend, driver of the Jim Dunn Racing team, said, “I’ve known Rob with DiPinto for a while and thought since his company and the team both do business or have sponsors in the northeast, it would be a great opportunity to connect the two.”