By:  Zak Elcock 

K&N Filters announced it has teamed up with NHRA and Ford Motor Company to offer one lucky NHRA fan the gift of a lifetime at the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge, NHRA Pro Stock’s bonus race-within-a-race program…….

 NHRA fans that enter the K&N Horsepower Challenge Sweepstakes online at www.knfilters.com/register/KN_HP_Vote.aspx will have the opportunity to win a brand new, totally redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer XLT. Eight finalists picked will receive a trip to the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 23-26, at Summit Racing Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

Those eight finalists will be randomly paired with one of the eight qualified drivers, with the finalist whose driver wins the K&N Horsepower Challenge taking home the 2011 Ford Explorer XLT courtesy of Ford.

Fans also will have the opportunity, for the second straight year, to vote for the eighth and final starting spot for the K&N Horsepower Challenge.

“2011 marks our fourth year as the sponsor of the K&N Horsepower Challenge, and I’m proud to say the event continues to get bigger and better,” said Steve Williams, vice president for K&N. “This year, we’re going to take everything we learned over the last three years and put it into making the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge the best ever.”

   2010 K&N Horsepower Challenge winner and defending NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock world champion Greg Anderson says he’s excited for what the partnership of K&N and Ford will bring to this season’s event.

 “Every year at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, the eight best cars in our category get to line up and race for a ton of money without having to worry about points,” said Anderson. “It’s a tremendous event that brings out the best in all of us. On top of that, we get to share the excitement with the fans with this year’s winner driving home a new Ford Explorer. It’s just a win-win deal for everyone concerned.” 

Defending K&N Horsepower Challenge Champ - Greg Anderson

The winner of the K&N Horsepower Challenge will earn $50,000, and the runner-up will earn $10,000. The two semifinalists will earn $3,000 each, while the four first-round finishers will receive $2,500 each.

“We’re excited for this year’s K&N Horsepower Challenge and what it will bring to one lucky NHRA fan,” said Tony Driscoll, vice president, sales and business development, NHRA. “To have K&N Engineering and the Ford Motor Company join forces to provide such an amazing opportunity for our fans really shows the commitment they have to the sport and adds excitement and drama to an already impressive special event.”

 The K&N Horsepower Challenge features an overall purse of $142,000. In addition to the $76,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge, K&N also will award $66,000 in qualifying bonuses to quick Pro Stock qualifiers throughout the K&N Horsepower Challenge series. Low qualifiers earn $3,000 at each of the 22 events in the Challenge series.

 Last season Anderson claimed his third title in the prestigious race-within-a-race bonus event.  Other past winners of the K&N Horsepower Challenge include Jeg Coughlin, Dave Connolly, Kurt Johnson, Warren Johnson, Darrell Alderman, Larry Morgan, Jim Yates, Bruce Allen and Bob Glidden.

K&N Engineering has been a major NHRA contingency sponsor for many years and has been the title sponsor for several NHRA national events in the past.

K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world’s leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial, military and commercial markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports, from off-road and powersports, to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information, log on to www.knfilters.com.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2011.  As the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States, NHRA presents 22 national events featuring the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA.  NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.