MSD Performance Group is acquired by Z Capital

MSD Performance Group (MSDP) has been acquired by Hot Rod Brands, LLC an affiliate of Z Capital Partners, LLC (Z Capital). MSDP sells products under the MSD, Racepak, Powerteq, Edge and Superchips brands. MSDP filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection petition on Sept. 6 of this year.

Z Capital is a private equity firm with approximately $1.2 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital with offices in Lake Forest, Ill., and New York City. The firm specializes in investing in companies with a strong product line and top tier brand recognition.

“We are excited to add MSDP to the Z Capital portfolio of companies and believe it to be a terrific growth platform. We will work with the management team to continue to be a market leader and deliver cutting edge products to our loyal customer base. MSDP represents substantial brands within the performance segment and we look forward to further solidifying and growing that brand recognition,” said James J. Zenni, President and Chief Executive Officer of Z Capital.

In recent years MSD Performance has expanded its portfolio of products and technology including the award-winning Atomic brand Fuel Injection systems, Flashcal brand Jeep hand-held programmer, Vigilante brand Harley tuning products and this year’s SEMA Show introduction of Brainwave®, the new Vehicle Management Network that allows aftermarket components to utilize a common technology platform for complete vehicle communication.

Ron Turcotte, MSDP’s CEO, said “Our restructuring allows us to be positioned for substantial growth through an even greater ability to serve our customers with new, innovative product offerings and a higher level of customer service.” [12/16/2013]

Newby readies ‘Mini-Brute’ AA/FC to be driven by Monty Todd


Former Top Fuel and Nitro Funny Car owner Doug Newby is set to hit the DRO and NHRA AA Funny Car trails this coming spring. Newby has been involved in drag racing since his youth, and campaigned a series of cars under the "Hot Tuna" name over the past 30+ years.

Now he has assembled what can only be described as a top of the line AA/FC. It is a 1977 Pontiac Trans-Am. The chassis for the car is an S&W 125-inch chassis built originally as a nitro funny car. The powerplant is a 413 c.i. Keith Black Hemi built by Doug with the help of Mike Cavalieri of Cavalieri Racing Equipment Co. in Omaha. The car was reconfigured with the help of J. Ed Horton and John Holmes, and there were countless hours spent at Ronnie Midyette's MBM machine shop doing final fabrications to complete this tribute car.

Doug and Beverly Newby plan to run the car at a handful of races in 2014 as time permits since Doug is a full time inspector assigned to a variety of different nuclear power plants throughout the country. It is interesting to note that his first association with Louie and Mike Cavalieri came as a result of working at the Cooper Nuclear Power Station in Nebraska.

Crewmembers include IHRA TAFC stalwart Ronnie Midyette; Ronnie's shop assistant and former Kevin Simms crewmember, Tony Naghiu; another Kevin Simms crewmember and active blown alcohol mud drag racer, Chris Newton; and a retired Navy Master Chef, Taco Villareal. Mike Cavalieri is doing the tuning chores and former IHRA TAFC standout Monty Todd will be behind the wheel.  

Initial testing earlier this year at Virginia Motorsports Park showed that all the pieces fit well together and the car did exactly what was asked of it, making it a long winter until the team gets together to assault the quarter mile with the “Mini-Brute.”  [12/16/2013]