Monday, June 29, 2015

'Tail Gunner Challenge' bonus posted for the inaugural Tony Stewart Midget Classic

Shepherd Insurance is offering an exciting $10,000 bonus for the final segment of the 100-lap Tony Stewart Midget Classic on July 25 at the historic fifth-mile Lincoln Tech Indianapolis Speedrome oval.

The Tony Stewart Midget Classic will feature a 100-lap main event broken into two segments. The first segment will be 75 laps followed by a 25-lap dash to the finish, with a 20 minute break. During the mandatory intermission which will see teams pitted in the infield for adjustments and tire changes, the 'Tail Gunner Challenge' will be presented to the leader of the race.

The leader will be asked if he or she would like to take the Shepherd Insurance ‘Tail Gunner Challenge,’ and restart at the rear of the field when the race resumes. If the tail gunner is able to make it back to the front in those final 25 green flag laps and win the Tony Stewart Midget Classic, the winner will take home a $10,000 bonus in addition to the $5,000 winner’s check.

If the leader at the 75-lap mark declines to take the Shepherd Insurance ‘Tail Gunner Challenge’ and stay in first place, the offer will then be made to the second-place driver. If the race runner-up also decides to not take the $10,000 gamble, the final 'Tail Gunner' offer will be made to the third-place driver.

No one knows the racing insurance business better than the Shepherd Insurance motorsports team, which is led by race team owner Tom Johnson and his son Jeff. Together, the Johnson’s have over 50 years of experience insuring motorsports teams and are charter members of the Indiana Motorsports Association. Shepherd Insurance knows exactly what racers need, because Tom and Jeff eat, drink and breathe racing. Contact Shepherd Insurance through their website at

For more details and to purchase tickets for the Tony Stewart Midget Classic, visit the Indianapolis Speedrome website at

Sunday, June 28, 2015

2015 inductees for the SEMA Hall of Fame

Information provided by Della Domingo, SEMA Public Relations Director

Joel Ayres, Jim Bingham and Dennis Gage will be inducted into the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association)  Hall of Fame. The new members will be recognized as part of the festivities during the SEMA Installation Gala, Friday, July 24, 2015, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. They represent an accomplished group of professionals who have shaped and inspired the $33-billion automotive specialty-equipment market.

Joel Ayres is honored for his involvement with the truck industry and the role he played in merging the Truck Cap Industry Association (now known as the Light Truck & Accessory Alliance [LTAA]), and he helped found SEMA Cares nearly 10 years ago. The nonprofit group unites the SEMA industry’s fundraising efforts and provides businesses with an easy way to give to those in need. Through activities, such as vehicle builds that are auctioned off to raise money and pinewood races where underprivileged and chronically ill kids join in the fun, SEMA Cares has raised more than $1 million to support a variety of charities.

Jim Bingham began his career in 1968 at Lang Auto Parts. As a farm boy just breaking into business, Bingham was the youngest counter guy at the store and knew nothing about high-performance parts. However, after just two years, Bingham founded Winner’s Circle Speed and Custom Inc.

Bingham’s company has grown to include three retail store locations, wholesale distribution under the name 1st Performance Warehouse and two major trade events. Throughout his career, he has taken an active role in helping the industry grow. In addition to serving on the SEMA Board of Directors, Bingham has held roles as a board member for the Performance Warehouse Association (PWA) and is an original owner of Route 66 Raceway.

In 2009, Bingham was honored with the SEMA Chairman’s Award for his role with the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow—a program that attracts the important youth demographic to the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He helped grow Hot Rodders of Tomorrow’s Engine Challenge in 2008 with 35 students from five high schools, to include more than 110 teams with 770 students competing in 2014.

Dennis Gage had an early interest in cars and purchased his first ’59 T-Bird at age 15, he didn’t immediately begin a career in the industry. After graduating from college with degrees in physics and chemistry, Gage started a country rock band and toured for two years. He returned to graduate school, and later joined Proctor & Gamble, where he helped develop the Pringles potato chip before joining Bristol-Myers Squibb. There, Gage led the development of Boost nutritional energy drinks and went on a 20-city media tour to promote the drink. His unique look and signature mustache captured consumer attention, and in the mid-’90s, the pilot for “My Classic Car“hosted by Dennis Gage premiered. The program is now in its 20th season and has reached nearly 90 million households.

Despite his fame, Gage remains humble and actively volunteers his time to the automotive industry that he loves. He’s served on several SEMA committees and groups, including three terms on the SEMA Board of Directors and the Select Committee of the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO).

Check out the SEMA Hall of Fame website for the stories of the inductees over the past 46 years at

Friday, June 12, 2015


The heritage of great racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be on display at the world's largest gathering of motorsports professionals--the 2015 Performance Racing Industry Trade Show (PRI) 2015.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum will display six IndyCars from over the decades, providing a dramatic perspective on the history of the design and engineering of one of America's most loved race vehicles. Historic IndyCar motors will also be part of the exhibit, and the Borg-Warner Trophy will be making a special appearance on the opening day of PRI 2015.

The Borg-Warner Trophy was first presented to race winner Louis Meyer. Made of 110 pounds of sterling silver, the Borg-Warner Trophy originally cost $10,000 and is currently valued at $3.5 million. The trophy clearly reflects the "art deco" period of its creation during the 1930s, and displays images of the faces of 80 Indianapolis 500 winners

Built in 1975 on the grounds of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Hall of Fame Museum offers approximately 75 vehicles on display at all times, including about 30 winners of the Indy 500. The Museum is organizing a special exhibit, "Evolution of the IndyCar," at PRI 2015, displaying cars that have been raced at the Indy 500 over the decades.

The late Tony Hulman and Karl Kizer, the Museum's first director, established a museum in 1956 to display race vehicles and memorabilia, principally associated with the Indianapolis 500 race. During 1975, Hulman built the larger, more modern Museum facility within the Speedway oval. Approximately 75 vehicles are on display at all times, including about 30 winners of the Indy 500.

Courtesy of the Hall of Fame Museum, located on the grounds of the Speedway, there will be an exhibit at PRI 2015 of six cars that were raced in the Indy 500 over past decades, providing a dramatic perspective on the evolution of the IndyCar in design and engineering. The museum will also display historic IndyCar motors, and the Borg-Warner Trophy will make a one-day appearance on the first day of PRI 2015.

Admission to the exhibit at PRI 2015, titled, "Evolution of the IndyCar," will be at no charge. Only attendees and exhibitors with trade show credentials will be admitted. The exhibit will be open all three days of PRI 2015.

PRI 2015 is the annual trade show for the global racing industry, taking place in the Indiana Convention Center, December 10-12, 2015. The event features exhibits by 1200 racing companies, and attracts motorsports professionals from all 50 states and 70 countries. Members of the racing trade go to the PRI Trade Show each year to shop and buy the latest advances in racing technology in order to have new racing products in stock for the next race season.

Information provided by Performance Racing Industry