IRG Sports + Entertainment and the International Hot Rod Association have announced a three-year, multifaceted partnership with MAHLE Aftermarket Inc., naming Clevite the Official Bearing of the IHRA.
Clevite, part of the MAHLE Aftermarket family, brings more than 95 years of customer service and experience to the IHRA as a leader in engine bearings for racing applications, according to a press release. As the official bearing provider of IHRA, Clevite will sponsor a new program rewarding Sportsman winners at select IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series events.
“We are so excited to be back involved with the IHRA through this great partnership. We loved working with IHRA several years ago and we were so excited when we heard that the IHRA was going back to what drag racing is really all about-racing,” said Bill McKnight, training manager at MAHLE Aftermarket Inc. “When we heard about the exciting new plans for the IHRA over the next few years, we jumped at the chance to get involved.”
Clevite will also present a special award at IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series events run in conjunction with the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL. The new Clevite Bonus Program will award the winner of each of the seven major IHRA Sportsman classes at those double weekends a $200 bonus and a special presentation in the winner’s circle, the release noted.
The Clevite Bonus Program will be awarded at Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series events held at Rockingham Dragway (May 17-18), Maryland International Raceway (June 13-14), Grand Bend Motorplex (June 20-22), Castrol Raceway (July 4-6) and Cordova Dragway Park (July 18-19).
“We wanted to broaden our scope this time around by getting involved with the great Sportsman racers at the IHRA,” McKnight said. “Our first involvement with the IHRA was strictly with the nitro cars, so this time we decided to get more involved with the grassroots of the sport and recognize the winners of IHRA’s seven premier sportsman classes with a cash award and a special presentation.”
Clevite has been in the bearing business since 1919 when it first started up operations in Cleveland. Owned by German automotive parts supplier MAHLE Aftermarket Inc., Clevite continues to grow with research and operations centers in the United States as well as Rugby, England, that will continue to expand the Clevite product offering.
“MAHLE Aftermarket is a quality company with great people and great product. We are very excited to team up with such an outstanding company in bringing Clevite to the IHRA family as the official bearing provider and sponsor of a great program rewarding our Sportsman racers,” said John Donaldson, IHRA Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships. “This is a relationship that will only continue to grow over the next few years as Clevite continues to team up with the IHRA on a national level.”