Ingersoll Rand named Official Power Tools of NASCAR

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Today, Ingersoll Rand has been announced as the Official Power Tools of NASCAR, which formalizes a relationship one of the global leaders of reliable and innovative power tools has had with the sanctioning body since the 1950s.

The agreement will also see Ingersoll Rand named as an official partner for IMSA, and a contingency sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Touring & Weekly Series.

Ingersoll Rand’s mission, among other things over the course of this new five-year partnership, is to further recognize both current and the next generation of crews and also to further work to integrate NASCAR’s fan base with the tools themselves.

“We have a long history in racing, going back to when in 1959 we introduced the thunder gun, which is used by most of the pit crews today,” John Evans, President, Ingersoll Rand power tools, told MotorSportsTalk in an interview.

source:  “There is a desire about high performance cars, whether you’re in the pits or working on an assembly plant, where people want a high performance tool. We have a lot of demographic evidence to support that.”

“They’ve really been a constant force in the garage, so this is a natural extension of their involvement,” added Jim O’Connell, chief sales officer, NASCAR. “They’ve been organically involved. Then they want to get the same message out to fans and consumers.

“We understand fans think about sponsorship differently than any other sport. They are apt to try the products because they support our sport, and NASCAR gives them the seal of approval. We believe in them. It’s a great fit of a product used in our sport, used by people watching our sport.”

The grassroots level, within the Touring & Weekly Series, will see a more tangible fan-first approach as part of the new partnership.

One of Ingersoll Rand’s new programs is its new Home Tracks Text-to-Win contest for fans at tracks throughout the season. Fans will have opportunities to win an Ingersoll Rand prize pack and meet-and-greets with pit crews and other high-profile racing and automotive personalities.

“Fans have the opportunity to test on the actual tools used by the pit crew members,” Evans said. “So that will include changing the tires, matching wits.

“We have some folks on our team that used to be in crews. It helps create a family atmosphere. That helps everyone kind of get the feel of racing. Folks that go to races already have some of that.”

“This extends our ties to the sport,” said Brian Welborn, global channel marketing leader, Ingersoll Rand. “Our focus is beyond the Sprint Cup, with the Home Tracks part of it. This is us getting back to the roots of racing, and being part of the Home Tracks communities.”

Welborn expanded on the Sprint Cup contingency program and IMSA official partnership.

“Part of our contingency program for Sprint Cup is to celebrate the crew chiefs and mechanics,” Welborn explained. “The ‘Power Move Award’ is what we’re calling it. This gives us a chance to celebrate those folks.

source:
Photo courtesy Ingersoll Rand

“The IMSA tie-in will involve our vision for how we participate in racing. We have a team we sponsor in Rebel Rock Racing. With sports cars, fans tend to focus on the car brands more than teams and drivers. So this will be about customer engagement and getting fans out there in a great atmosphere.”

O’Connell said further activation plans beyond what is being announced today – including with both of NASCAR’s TV partners for 2015 in FOX and NBC – are still being determined, but expected to progress.

One of Welborn’s other notes was about a crew chief that stood out for him, in the form of Kevin Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers.

“My first kind of entrée to crews, as I have only been part of the show for a couple years, came during champion’s week when we got an intro to Rodney Childers. He’s a great guy. The more we are introduced to these guys in the sport really helps fit with our brand, to be authentic and real.”

Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field

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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.

Houston Supercross numbers
Cooper Webb’s ability to close races makes him a Houston favorite. – Feld Motor Sports

Despite an accident in his heat in San Diego that sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), Sexton recovered to score a top-five that weekend. His podium finish in Anaheim 1 and overall win last week in Anaheim 2 makes him one of the three riders with a perfect top-five record. He is joined by Cooper Webb, who finished second in the first two rounds and fourth last week, and Ken Roczen, whose consistency in the first three races contributed to him grabbing the top spot in this week’s NBC Supercross Power Rankings.

There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.

Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.

Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.

By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.

With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.

This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit. Jim Pomeroy won the first race in the Astrodome in 1974. Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.

Two privateers have started the season on a high note.

Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.

Michael Mosiman scored his first 250 win last year in San Diego. – Feld Motor Sports

The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.

Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.

In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.

The other 250 riders with 2022 wins this week are Mosiman, who earned his first Supercross win last year in San Diego, and Nate Thrasher, who became the fifth new class winner at Daytona.

Jeremy Martin will attempt to extend a record this week in Houston. His division leading SuperMotocross podiums number 65. He has 26 wins in the combined sessions, which ranks fourth all time.

Last Five Houston Winners

450s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Cooper Webb
2021, Race 2: Eli Tomac
2021, Race 1: Justin Barcia
2020, no race
2019, Cooper Webb
2018, Jason Anderson

250s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Colt Nichols
2021, Race 2: Jett Lawrence
2021, Race 1: Christian Craig
2020, no race
2019, Dylan Ferrandis
2018, Aaron Plessinger

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX
Chase Sexton wins Anaheim 2 in 450s; Levi Kitchen takes 250s
Results and points from Anaheim 2