DENSO Products and Services Americas, Inc., an affiliate of leading global automotive supplier DENSO Corp., will serve as the lead sponsor of Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Angie Smith at the upcoming NHRA Carolina Nationals. The Sept. 15-17 races take place at Smith’s hometown racetrack, zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.
The event is the first of the Countdown to the Championship, the six final race weekends of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Only the top 10 competitors qualify for the Countdown, based on total points earned over 10 hard-fought Pro Stock Motorcycle contests leading up to the final races.
“I’m really excited that DENSO is sponsoring me for the first race of the Countdown,” said Smith, who rides a Buell V-Twin at speeds of nearly 198 mph powered by DENSO’s high-performance Iridium spark plugs. “It’s a huge accomplishment just to be one of the 10 riders competing for the championship. I’m focused on doing my best for DENSO and my team to put this DENSO bike in the Winner’s Circle!”
With the addition of the Carolina Nationals, DENSO is serving as Smith’s lead sponsor for a total of five weekend events in the 2017 Mello Yello series. Two have already taken place: the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals series opener held April 28-30 at zMAX Dragway and the Toyota Sonoma Nationals held July 28-30 in California. The remaining two are Countdown events: the Sept. 29-Oct. 1 AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals in Illinois and the Oct. 26-29 Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas.
Born and raised in Kernersville, N.C., Smith started racing competitively in the Outlaw Pro Street class where she was known by her maiden name, Angie McBride. In 2004, she captured the Outlaw Pro Street championship. During those years, a fierce rivalry ensued with competitor Matt Smith. A top-ranked Pro Stock Motorcycle racer with 18 career wins to date under his belt, he invited her to join Matt Smith Racing in 2008.
The couple married in 2009 and are the only husband-and-wife teammates in the NHRA. Both qualified for the upcoming Countdown and will complete against each other for the 2017 Pro Stock Motorcycle championship.
In addition to sponsoring Angie Smith, DENSO is a product sponsor of Matt Smith Racing. DENSO also served as the title sponsor of the March 31-April 2 NHRA Las Vegas Nationals and is a supporting sponsor of all 24 races in the 2017 Mello Yello series.
At every race, fans will find DENSO’s full line of spark plugs at Nitro Alley, the midway where they can learn more about and purchase DENSO plugs. Throughout the series, DENSO also posts race and product updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
For nearly half a century, DENSO has sponsored world-class motor sports, including NHRA, NASCAR, Formula One, World Rally Championship and Super GT races. In addition to spark plugs, alternators, radiators and engine management systems are among DENSO’s precision original equipment and replacement auto parts that professional drivers and pit crews count on for the best performance under the most demanding conditions and motorists rely on every day.
More information on DENSO spark plugs, as well as DENSO’s comprehensive lines of auto parts, is available at retail stores, wholesale distributors and www.densoautoparts.com.