Racing and Performance Industry Titans Join Massive Interview Project

Jan 25, 2016

The Quarter Mile Foundation recently recorded the recollections of 25 drag racing and performance aftermarket industry people.

Twenty of the interviews were conducted Dec. 10-12 at the PRI Show in Indianapolis and nother five Detroit-area interviews were done at The Lingenfelter Collection in Brighton, Michigan, which houses over 150 iconic vehicles.

Those interviewed at the PRI Show included: Ronnie Ball (Contingency Connection, former IHRA employee), Marvin Benoit (Quick Fuel Technologies), Preston Davis (“Tennessee Bo-Weevil” Top Fuel/Funny Car and nostalgia dragster driver), Chip Ellis (Pro Stock Motorcycle rider), Bob Glidden (10-time Pro Stock NHRA world champion), Charlie Henry (retired marketing manager of Chrysler Corp.’s MOPAR Performance/Direct Connection), Ron Hope (“Rat Trap” Fuel Altered racer), Dave Hough (“Nanook” Fuel Altered racer), Dave Kirkland/Scott Lumbert (“Spirit of Texas” Top Fuel Hydro drag boat), Paul Lee (McLeod Clutches), Steve Lewis (PRI magazine/show founder), Jim Luikens (sportsman racer, performance automotive marketing specialist), Bill Martens (General Motors Performance Parts), Louise “Land Speed Louise” Noeth (automotive historian/journalist), Dave Sebring (former Top Alcohol Funny Car racer, manufacturer), Larry Shepard (retired technical manager of Chrysler Corp.’s MOPAR Performance/Direct Connection), Chris Thomson (K&N Filters/Airaid, former SEMA Board Member), Vic Wood (Aeromotive, SEMA Board Member), Jeep Worthan (Autometer-retired, former SEMA Board Member).

The Foundation interviewed five additional people Dec. 14-15 at the Lingenfelter Collection facility. The interviewees were: Joe Hilger (retired vice president for DaimlerChrysler Global Service/MOPAR and “Father of the modern Hemi”), Fritz Kayl (automotive engineer/founder of Katech Inc.), Ken Lingenfelter (co-founder of Lingenfelter Performance), Jim Oberhofer (vice president of operations at Kalitta Motorsports, crew chief of the Doug Kalitta MAC Tools Top Fuel team), and Jon Oberhofer (Kalitta Motorsports crew chief, Del Worsham 2015 NHRA World Champion DHL Funny Car team).

Additionally, Linda Vaughn contributed more depth to her previous interview’s insights at the PRI Show.

“The generosity of the Performance Racing Industry Show management, and that of Ken Lingenfelter, gave us platforms to expand the Foundation’s inventory of interviews, and gaining some important new perspectives regarding the growth of the sport and the performance aftermarket,” said Traci Hrudka, Quarter Mile Foundation chairman.

“We were particularly pleased to gain some insight into how the automakers have utilized drag racing and their participation within the performance aftermarket structure to extend their engineering and marketing reaches.”

With the addition of these 25 new interviewees, plus the seven interviews done in Great Britain in November, the Foundation now has 265 interviews of different individuals from the sport and the performance aftermarket.