Industry veterans form new motorsports strategy group

Industry veterans Jason Rittenberry, Scott Gardner, Jenny Schmitz, and Kurt Johnson (from left above) recognize the need for venues, series, sponsors and race teams to maximize their investments and have created a new firm - Motorsports Strategy Group to meet those needs.


The four partners bring more than 100 years of hands-on experience at the highest levels of motorsports together to assist clients both big and small with a full suite of comprehensive solutions and creative initiatives. MSG will focus on four disciplines of the sports and entertainment world – Strategy, Events, Production, and Venues.


Jason Rittenberry brings 17 years of experience in every form of motorsports. He was formerly President and CEO of IRG Sports + Entertainment. Scott Gardner was the longtime owner of Cordova Raceway Park, President of the IHRA and General Manager of Heartland Park Topeka. Jenny Schmitz is a longtime event professional who has planned and executed some of the nation's largest automotive enthusiast tours, car shows, four-wheel events, and family shows in the industry. Kurt Johnson (not Warren’s son) founded Total Venue Concepts almost three years ago after managing some of the top racing venues in the country. Joining the firm as a partner, he will merge his venue management company with MSG.


Todd Silvey has joined the firm as an associate, specializing in marketing, creative, communications and public relations. Following 20+ years of owning Drag News Magazine, Silvey worked with both Rittenberry and Gardner serving as Managing Editor of IHRA’s monthly publication Drag Review and most recently served as an editorial director of Drag Racing Scene magazine for Xceleration Media.  

New Camaro for Kramer with KB power

Deric Kramer made a name for himself last season with some fan-favorite burnouts in his American Ethanol-sponsored Dodge Pro Stock. However, he didn’t make it to the final round and so he and his father, David, decided to change the program for 2018.


The Denver-based team will be driving a new Chevy Camaro and will be leasing an engine from the KB Racing team. Last season the Kramers worked with former Pro Stock racer V. Gaines and his Madcap Engines.


“I think we reached a point where we either needed to make a serious commitment to winning in Pro Stock or go do something else,” Deric said. “We don’t have the budget to fund our own program to be as competitive as the KB, Elite, or Gray teams.”    

Kennedy replaces Cromwell on NHRA Museum Board

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California announced the election of a new member to their board of directors, David Kennedy, director of multimedia content for NHRA.


Since joining NHRA in 2016, he has helped to shape NHRA media platforms and structure content licensing agreements. Prior to that he was the editor-in-chief of Hot Rod Magazine where he directed editorial planning and social media content. He’s also served in publishing and editorial roles for a number of automotive publications including Custom Truck Group, Diesel Power and Petersen’s Four-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine.


Kennedy will assume Glen Cromwell’s position on the board. Cromwell will remain very involved in the museum but is rotating off the board of directors to dedicate more time to his newly appointed role as president of NHRA.


Kennedy will join the following board members: Gale Banks, Linda Louie, Dave McClelland, Tom McKernan, Wayne McMurtry, Jack O’Bannon and Alex Xydias.   

New Product of the Day


Mr. Gasket Digital Tread Depth Gauge

Mr. Gasket Digital Tread Depth Gauges are a fast, easy way to track tire wear on race cars, street cars, tow vehicles, and trailers. Accurate to .0005'' of an inch, they have a range from zero to 1 inch. They can be re-zeroed at any position, read in either inches or millimeters, and feature a large, easy-to-read LCD display and a manual on/off power switch for maximum battery life.  



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