NORWALK, Ohio – The very backbone of the International Hot Rod Association is the sportsman racer. And nowhere are those racers featured more prominently than within the battleground of the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL.
Already one of the most prestigious programs within the IHRA, thanks to Summit Racing Equipment who have renewed their commitment to sportsman racers by signing a multiyear deal to return as sponsor of the program, the Pro-Am Tour just got a whole lot more exciting.
In 2013 the IHRA and Summit Racing Equipment are adding more cash and more exclusivity to the program by increasing the payout to win a Pro-Am championship, adding payout through third place in each division and making the Pro-Am Tour the only path through which to earn a berth in the Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL.
Beginning next season the only way a driver can earn a spot in the Tournament of Champions is by finishing in the top three in their respective division on the Summit Pro-Am Tour. Individual race winners will no longer earn an automatic tournament bid, instead focusing all championship aspirations on those racers that chase points on the Pro-Am Tour and enjoy season-long success essentially making every Pro-Am event a TOC qualifier.
Most all Nitro Jam national events will continue to feature double Pro-Ams with increased contingency, payout and a national event Ironman available on the final day of Nitro Jam, but only those chasing points on the Pro-Am Tour will be eligible for the year-end championship tournament. All divisions will continue to feature double Pro-Ams with the exception of the Raiders Division, however a few races within that division will experiment with the extremely popular double format.
To further enhance the prestige of the tour each Pro-Am champion will receive an increased payout of $2,000. Champions will also receive an IHRA Ironman and an IHRA Gold Card. Pro-Am championship runners-up will continue to receive $500, while drivers that finish in third place in their division will now receive $250. All drivers that finish in the top three will also earn a ticket to the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals to compete for the World Championship.
“Since its inception over a decade ago the Summit Pro-Am Tour has grown into our preeminent sportsman championship series,” said IHRA President Aaron Polburn. “We have seen it grow from a regional racing series to a program that has multiple divisions covering nearly every corner of North America. Next year we want to continue to add even more benefit to the racers that run the series by increasing payouts and making it the exclusive path to the Tournament of Champions.
“We are excited about the changes to the series and we think these changes will benefit our Pro-Am racers and add even more incentive for new racers to find out what this program is really all about.”