American Honda Expands Motorsports Award Program To Include Import Drag Racing For First Time

4/19/2001 6:28:44 PM

American Honda is expanding its motorsports contingency award program to include booming import drag racing circuits for the first time, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today.

Now, the total contingency awards for all 2001 programs will top more than $400,000. Drivers of Honda and Acura products competing in certain classes of Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), National Import Racing Association (NIRA) and Battle of the Imports racing series are eligible for the awards.

"The popularity and interest in import drag racing has been growing at an amazing rate," said Jim Roach, Parts Division vice president. "Much of that growth has been fueled by competitors in Acura and Honda products. The new NIRA contingency award program helps show our support to the dedicated racers who have made this segment one of the fastest growing in motorsports."

NIRA is a leading import drag race sanctioning body that hosts eight national events and numerous local events throughout the year and receives national television and media coverage.

More than $10,500 will be up for grabs among Honda and Acura racers competing in NIRA Pro and Street divisions at each national event. First, second and third place finishers in each of the five Pro classes can win $1,000, $500 or $250 respectively. The top two finishers in each of the six Street classes can win $200 or $100. Award money also will be available at NIRA's local events. A similar program is in place for Battle of the Imports.

To qualify for the awards, competitors are required to be driving a Honda or Acura vehicle, display a decal for Honda Optional Equipment sticker or Acura Accessories and be in compliance with all of the sanctioning body's rules. Competitors must also display a decal supporting "RASR" (Racers Against Street Racing).

RASR is an industry-wide coalition of automobile manufacturers, aftermarket parts companies, professional racers, automotive magazines and other organizations dedicated to endorsing safe alternatives to illegal street racing. Professional drag racers Stephen Papadakis (Honda Civic), Adam Saruwatari (Acura NSX) and Ed Bergenholtz (Honda Civic) support RASR.

"The goals of RASR and American Honda are the same, to get racing off the street and onto the track where it belong," Roach says. "We hope this contingency program will encourage just that."

Honda has been a long time supporter of SCCA racing, posting contingency sponsorship in the Speedvision World Challenge classes and other Pro Racing divisions, picking up more than 12 championships since 1995.