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Coretalk: AERA EXPO 2005 Set For Las Vegas Hilton In April

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The EXPO will showcase leading edge technology with live, operating demonstrations of equipment, tools, supplies, parts and services. Exhibits will be open on Thursday, April 28, from 10:30 am-6 pm; Friday, April 29, from 10:30 am- 6:30 pm; and Saturday, April 30, from 10:30 am- 2:30 pm.

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EXPO will include a keynote address from NASCAR legend Benny Parsons on Thursday, April 28. In addition, several technical and marketing seminars from prominent speakers will be presented over the course of the event.

Attendees will have the opportunity to win a share of $10,000 in Show Bucks, which may be used to purchase products or equipment from exhibitors. Additionally, $2,000 in Net Bucks will be given away simply for networking at the show.

The Vanguard Performance Group will build a 496 cid Chevy Big Block on the show floor during the EXPO. On Saturday, the engine will be given away to one lucky winner. Tickets for the engine drawing are $5 each. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Engine Rebuilders Educational Foundation (EREF).

For more information about registering to attend or exhibit at AERA EXPO 2005, go to www.aera.org; or call AERA at 888-326-2372.

Federal-Mogul Names Alapont President and CEO

Federal-Mogul Corporation has named Jose Maria Alapont as President and Chief Executive Officer of Federal-Mogul. Alapont also will join the board of directors of Federal-Mogul.

Alapont brings to Federal-Mogul more than 30 years of strong leadership experience in both the automotive manufacturer and supplier industries. He has been chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of IVECO (the commercial vehicle division of the Fiat Group, with annual sales in excess of 9 billion Euro), and has experience with Delphi Automotive Systems, Valeo and Ford Motor Co. He replaces Robert S. (“Steve”) Miller, who is serving as interim CEO of Federal-Mogul.

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Sunnen’s Dustman Listed On B2Bspeaker.com

Tom Dustman, senior product manager at Sunnen Products Co., is now profiled at B2Bspeaker.com and is available to speak on a variety of topics at trade shows, conferences and corporate meetings.

Dustman is listed as a prospective speaker in three B2Bspeaker.com categories: abrasives, engine rebuilding and honing. His potential technology topics include honing, bore finishing, surface finishing, coolants, diamond plated single stroke tools, superabrasives and conventional abrasives.

B2Bspeaker.com is designed as a national clearinghouse for business-to-business (B2B) speaking opportunities of all kinds, including those associated with automotive and industrial product manufacturing technologies. Everyone, from national associations looking to schedule a tradeshow talk to local and regional groups, or even companies, needing a featured meeting or dinner speaker with specialized expertise, can use the Web site as a free research and event posting resource.

A major feature at B2Bspeaker.com is a free bulletin board posting area where groups, organizations and companies can notify potential speakers of upcoming speaker needs. Speakers can routinely review engagement opportunities and receive automatic e-mail notification of postings in their registered topic areas.

I.M.C.A. Champs, Rookies To Win Brodix Awards

Champions and rookies of the year in the regular I.M.C.A. Sunoco Late Model point season and in the Deery Brothers Summer Series will receive cylinder head sets from Brodix.

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The Mena, AR, manufacturer, a fixture in I.M.C.A.’s Late Model di-vision since the introduction of the spec motor nine years ago, will present those awards during the national banquet in November.

“The anticipation of our Deery Brothers Summer Series is already very high as we look forward to visiting a number of new tracks in 2005,” said Kevin Yoder, marketing director for I.M.C.A. and director of the Deery Series. “The battle for the rookie of the year as well as the championship will be tight, and Brodix will be there at the end to reward a summer’s worth of hard work. We are excited about the year to come.”

The Late Model point season runs from Friday, April 22 through Sunday, Aug. 28. Drivers’ best 15 feature finishes will be used to determine national standings. I-80 Speedway at Nebraska Raceway Park in Greenwood, NE, hosts the first of 19 Deery Series events in 2005, on April 1.

No change has been made in eligibility for rookie status, as drivers cannot have competed in four or more events to be considered rookies on a national or Deery Series basis.

Information about Brodix-made cylinder heads is available by calling (479) 394-1075 or via the www.brodix.com website.

Corteco Announces Next Edelbrock Engine Winner

Vic Edelbrock, president and CEO of Edelbrock Corp., joined with Corteco at the PRI Show in Indianapolis on December 10, to draw the name of the winner of a 410 hp Chevy small-block performance engine sealed by Corteco and valued at $6,900.

Winning the engine was Sherry Roberts of Roberts Racing LLC. Roberts Racing, based in Sparks, GA, has been involved in the racing industry for 23 years and currently owns three cars in the Late Model Dirt division. Roberts said her engine builder uses Corteco gaskets exclusively and has been satisfied with the results.

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PERA Announces Next Meeting Dates, Locations

The upcoming Production Engine Remanufacturers Association (PERA) Spring Technical/Marketing Conference will be held on April 29-30, 2005 in conjunction with the AERA EXPO 2005 at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

In addition, PERA will hold its 60th annual convention Sept. 22 through Sept. 24 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, VA, a nearby suburb of Washington, DC.

Officials from PERA said complete program details will be available in June or July once the program has been finalized.

Visit www.pera.org or call (703) 968-2772 x 103 for more details.

Motorsport Park Hastings Greenlighted In Nebraska

When George Anderson, president of Gessford Machine Shop in Hastings, NE, accepted the award for the 2004 Engine Builder “Machine Shop of the Year,” he hinted that his home town might soon be the new Mecca of Speed. That became one step closer to reality recently when Anderson’s plans for a full-scale racing complex got the nod from Hastings Planning Commission members.

The complex is expected to contain a road racing course, a dirt rallycross track, a dragstrip, a hotel, RV park as well as a full service and maintenance area and car, bike or cart dealerships. Complete site plans are expected to be completed within the next several months, Anderson says.

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AutoNation CEO Calls Hybrids ‘Transforming Technology’
Hybrid vehicles could capture 5 percent of the U.S. market within five years, according to the CEO of AutoNation Inc.

Mike Jackson, who heads the nation’s largest publicly traded dealership group, said the price of gasoline largely will determine hybrid sales in the next few years. But the technology has proven itself, he said.

“Last year and the year before, a lot of people felt hybrid technology was a tree-hugging fad,” Jackson said Monday.

“Well, that debate is over. It’s a transforming technology.”

Jackson said U.S. consumers bought about 80,000 hybrid vehicles last year. He predicted that total will rise to as much as 800,000 vehicles by 2010.

He said AutoNation dealerships are seeing “tremendous demand” among buyers for such vehicles as the Lexus RX 400h and the Ford Escape Hybrid.

“These are highly educated, high-income people,” Jackson said. “These opinion makers are clearly saying we’re willing to pay a price premium for this innovation for super-clean air, this big step forward in fuel efficiency.”

For automakers, he said, the question has become how to bring hybrid technology into their business plans.

AutoNation ranks No. 1 on the Automotive News list of the 100 largest public dealership groups, with annual revenue of about $19 billion and 287 dealerships. Before joining the company in 1999, Jackson was CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S.A. Inc.

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Toyota to Build Hybrid Vehicles in U.S.

Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s No. 1 automaker, will build gas-conserving hybrid vehicles in the United States, though plans haven’t been finalized, President Fujio Cho said Tuesday.

For now, Toyota builds all of its hybrids in Japan. Cho, in an interview Tuesday with automotive and financial journalists at the North American International Auto Show, said the company will determine by midyear which model would be the most logical to build in the United States.

Demand for the Toyota Prius has far exceeded initial expectations, creating a wait of up to six months for the gas-electric car in some areas. Toyota is set to begin selling a hybrid version of the luxury Lexus RX sport utility vehicle in mid-April and a hybrid version of the Toyota Highlander SUV in June.

“Without a doubt, we will eventually produce a hybrid model in the United States,” Cho told reporters through an interpreter.

Toyota  planned production for North America this year is 100,000 Priuses, which it hopes will eliminate the backlog of orders. Toyota has sold more than 100,000 Priuses in the United States since 2000, including 53,991 in 2004.

The 100,000 North American forecast is part of a companywide goal to sell 300,000 hybrid vehicles worldwide by the end of 2005.

Moreover, Cho said the company remains bullish on prospects for hybrids even as it and other automakers invest billions on technology for hydrogen fuel cell cars and trucks. Experts say road-ready hydrogen-powered vehicles, which would emit nothing more harmful than water vapor, are at least 10 to 15 years away.

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Companies such as General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have said they consider hybrids to be a bridge to fuel-cell vehicles, but Cho said hybrid technology will remain viable even as fuel-cell vehicles become marketable.

EPA Seeks Comments on Revised Vehicle Emissions Inspection Rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week released a new updated proposed rule for areas that will be newly required to implement vehicle emissions inspection programs under the more stringent eight-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. The new NAAQS moved the maximum ozone level to .08 parts per million (PPM) averaged over an eight-hour period from the former standard of .12 PPM averaged over a one-hour period. As a result of the revised standard, many areas in the country will be thrown into non-attainment and will therefore be required to implement vehicle emissions inspection programs.

The new EPA proposal updates the emissions inspection rules by revising the deadlines such that new inspection program would be required four years after the effective date of classification. States would have one year following publication of the final rule to submit implementation plans for the inspection program.

For additional information on the changes to the inspection program, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/epg/regs.htm

CARB Orders Older Truck Engine Upgrades by April

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted Dec. 9 to require five engine manufacturers to upgrade emission reduction software in certain trucks that operate in the state by the end of April.

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The mandate replaces the voluntary plan instituted in early 2004. The regulation, adopted in March 2004, will require most heavy duty diesel trucks, buses and motor homes built between 1993 and 1999 to install new software to prevent the release of additional nitrogen oxide emissions, a process called reflash.

CARB decided to abandon a voluntary program approved earlier this year with truckers and the engine manufacturers in favor of the regulatory mandate to fix the engines with low-NOx “chip reflashes” because the voluntary program is failing to meet its goals.

A group of heavy duty engine makers are vowing to sue CARB over its recent adoption of a rule requiring manufacturers to fix thousands of truck engine computers to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by the end of next year. The group argues the rule violates state and federal legal settlements for the engine fixes, and if allowed to proceed could crush the industry financially if other states choose to also adopt the California regulation.

EPA is considering a national program to encourage or require the trucks to implement the software fixes. However, the agency is likely to face opposition from engine manufacturers even if the program is voluntary, according to agency sources.

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EPA is considering the program because it erred in calculating how long it would take to make the fix and reduce emissions, after finalizing the landmark 1998 national consent decree that required the industry to fund these changes. Officials had estimated the trucks would need to be rebuilt at 300,000 miles, but the engines at issue are lasting 750,000 to 1 million miles and are, therefore, not coming in for rebuilds and the mandated reflashes.

Beck/Arnley Enhances its Web Site

Beck/Arnley has made enhancements to its Web site www.beckarnley.com, by incorporating a section to inform customers about the latest Beck/Arnley news, updating its online apparel and promotional merchandise program for 2005 and adding more Beck/Arnley company information.

The interactive Web site features practical content including product information and a form for requesting electronic catalogs. New features allow customers to stay up-to-date with what’s going on at Beck/Arnley through a “news” section and learn about Beck/Arnley’s customer-driven strategies through an in-depth company profile.

The online apparel and promotional merchandise program has been updated with a variety of new Beck/Arnley logo merchandise and promotional items.

Freight Haulers Expand Fleet: Class 8 Trucks in Use Rise in 3rd Quarter

Led by a surge in new truck registrations by general freight carriers, the number of heavy-duty vehicles in use for all types of operations expanded by more than 80,000 in the third quarter from the same period in 2003, according to research firm R.L. Polk & Co.

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Based on an analysis of vehicle registration data for the July-September period, Polk estimated that 3,147,088 Class 8 vehicles were in operation, up 2.6 percent from 3,066,551 a year earlier.

Polk said its vehicle data includes heavy-duty commercial trucks used in general freight hauling, vocational-business trucks, buses, recreational vehicles and specialty registrations such as antique trucks.

Vic Edelbrock, Jr. to Receive Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award

Hotrod & Restoration (HHR) magazine and Robert Petersen have announced Vic Edelbrock, Jr. as the fourth recipient of the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award.

Robert Petersen personally selects the recipient each year for presentation at the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show. This year, the show will take place on March 10-12 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. The award presentation will take place during HRR’s Breakfast of Champions, co-sponsored by Meguiar’s, Inc., scheduled for 8:30 a.m., Friday, March 11.

“Vic Edelbrock, Jr. and his father have made tremendous contributions to hot rodding as we know it today,” said Petersen. “They have not only been a strong force on the business side, their personal involvement at every level has been tremendous.”

In 1962, upon the untimely loss of his father Vic Edelbrock, Sr. to cancer, Vic Edelbrock, Jr. took over the company with a group of loyal employees, most of whom had been with his dad since the beginning. They knew what it took to continue the traditions Vic Sr. had started. From 1971 to 1974, Vic Jr. served as president of SEMA, only nine years after taking over the company, serving at a crucial time on a platform of educating legislators and the public to the benefits of a strong and legal performance parts industry.

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Vic Jr. has always given back to the automotive hobby and the community that supports it. He and his father have been inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame. Vic Jr. has personally been honored numerous times by the Performance Warehouse Association and has been inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. In 1996, Vic Jr. also began a scholarship program through Northwest Kansas Technical College to honor his father, a native of Eudora, KS.

Valvoline Racing Column Honored with Web Award

Valvoline.com has won the Silver Award in the 2004 International Automotive Media Awards for its racing commentary column ‘Behind Closed Garage Doors’ written by anonymous author “I.N. Sider.”

The column is intended to inform, entertain and stimulate thought on the contemporary motorsports scene. I.N. Sider is the pen name for an independent motorsports business-person who has a quarter-century of professional experience working in almost every major North American racing series. The writer is not an employee of Valvoline or parent Ashland Inc., according to the company.

Valvoline.com received the award in the ‘World Wide Web: Column’ category. This is the fifth award given to the popular web feature. The American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association has honored the Valvoline.com feature on four different occasions in its annual journalism contest.

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Caterpillar’s Remanufacturing Push

The Peoria, IL-based company, which has 50 U.S. facilities and 65 abroad, can sell remanufactured products with warranties for less money than new equipment. The company’s top executive told Reuters the remanufacturing business is expected to grow 10 percent to 15 percent a year and has environmental benefits because fewer resources are used than in manufacturing.

Caterpillar does the work itself, the report said, a departure from other manufacturers’ practices. The company had more than $22 billion in sales in 2003. It produces a wide array of products, from earthmovers and loaders to marine engines.

In December 2004, the company and its United Auto Workers-represented employees reached a tentative labor deal for 9,000 employees in four states.

Source: CBS.MarketWatch.com

EPA to Conduct OEM Web Site Audit

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it will conduct an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Web site audit to gather feedback from the technician community on their experiences with the Web sites.

On June 27, 2003, the EPA finalized its regulations requiring OEMs to make available all information necessary to use onboard diagnostic (OBD) systems. The regulations required any information for making automotive emissions-related repairs, including any emissions-related information provided by the OEMs to franchised dealers, be made available. The ruling required each OEM to develop a Web site by the end of 2003 containing the service information for all 1996 and later model year vehicles and light-duty trucks.

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As part of the program, a steering committee, comprised of 15 industry representatives from OEMs, tool companies, repair facilities and aftermarket associations, was formed to oversee the evaluation process. The steering committee will work to keep the industry informed throughout the process. In addition, a Web site (www.oemaudit.com), is currently under construction and once online will feature information regarding the evaluation process.

The EPA hopes to have the final audit report complete in September.

Lincoln Electric To Acquire Alloy Maker J.W. Harris Co.

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., Cleveland, OH, has reported that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire all of the outstanding stock of the J.W. Harris Co., Inc., a privately held brazing and soldering alloys manufacturer headquartered in Mason, Ohio.

The transaction is subject to completion of due diligence, Board approval of a definitive share purchase agreement, and regulatory approval. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the 2005 first quarter. Terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1914, the J.W. Harris Co., Inc., is a global leader in the production of brazing and soldering alloys and has 335 employees at manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Rhode Island and Mexico plus an international distribution center in Spain. The Company is the market leader in the United States for high-quality brazing alloys. Lincoln Electric is a leader in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding products, robotic arc-welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment.

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John M. Stropki, Lincoln Electric Chairman and CEO, said: “The acquisition of Harris will establish Lincoln as a leader in a complementary metals-joining technology and will also expand our global product offerings sold through Lincoln’s worldwide sales and distribution network.” For more information about Lincoln Electric, its products and services, visit www.lincolnelectric.com.

Hendrick Team Sets Another Engine Build Record

NASCAR’s Pre-Season Thunder at Daytona International Speedway hosted the second round of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown on January 19 and 22.

The event was the second record setting event of the season, when Mike Maiwald, long time Showdown participant and last year’s runner-up, shattered his own record setting time of 20 minutes and 20 seconds. Maiwald and his build partner Shane Parsnow set a new record build time of 18 minutes and 54 seconds.

The competing engine builders assembled 357 cubic inch Ford engines – similar in design to those used by NASCAR’s Ford race teams. The first round of the Showdown, which was held January 5 and 6 at Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, N.C., served as a qualifying round. The eight fastest times advanced to Round Two – beginning the head-to-head competition.

The first build saw Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow of Hendrick Engines against Ken Swanson and Robert Scott of Bill Davis Racing. With Maiwald’s record-breaking time of 18 minutes, 54 seconds beating out Swanson’s time of 20 minutes, 56 seconds.

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Next up was last year’s Showdown champs Lanny Barnes and Todd Hamm of Richard Childress Racing versus Kevin Webber and Shane Parsnow (standing in for Tom Karas, who was ill at the time) of Hendrick Engines. Kevin Webber and Shane Parsnow took the build with a time of 21 minutes, 36 seconds.

Roush/Yates Racing Engines’ Randy Hewitt and Mike Kasch met Mike Lanci and Jesse Hardee of Ernie Elliott Engines in the third build of Round Two. Mike Lanci and Jesse Hardee sealed their spot in Round Three by posting a build time of 24 minutes, 27 seconds.

The final build of Round Two saw Paul Vanderlaan and Shawn Hughesman of Evernham Engines against Todd Hamm and Greg Gunnell of Richard Childress Racing. Todd Hamm standing in for Showdown veteran Danny Lawrence, helped the Childress team post an impressive build time of 19 minutes, 51 seconds.

The winners of Round Two received cash awards of $1,500 and will proceed to Round Three. While the date and location of Round Three is yet to be determined, the winners will receive $2,000 and proceed to the fourth and final round on May 24, 2005 at the prestigious NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) in Mooresville, N.C.

The final round’s runner-up will receive a cash award of $5,000. The first-place winner will receive a cash award of $20,000 and the title of 2005 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown Champion. The winning team will also be immortalized alongside past Showdown Champions on the new Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy.

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For more information about Clevite and the Engine Builder Challenge, go to: www.engineparts.com.

ETI ToolTech Is The Must-See Event For the Vehicle-Related Tool, Equipment Industry

Research Triangle Park, N.C. – The motor vehicle tool and equipment industry will gather this year for ToolTech, a unique networking and promotional opportunity offered by the Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI) and scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, through Thursday, April 28, at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort, Indian Well, Calif.

“This two-day meeting is the only event in our industry that focuses exclusively on the companies which buy and sell vehicle-related tools and equipment,” said Brian Irish, ETI marketing manager. “For one low fee, participants can network with industry peers, meet potential customers, confer with current clients, meet one-on-one with OEMs and gain valuable insights from presentations by industry leaders.”

The ToolTech Company Showcase of ETI members will provide a productive, personal atmosphere to discuss company products and services with buyers and decision-makers. Prospective attendees to the showcase include OEMs and their facilitation partners, mass merchandisers, national accounts, large fleets and automotive service education providers. Booth spaces and personnel are limited in order to make the event accessible to a wide range of participants.

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The ToolTech educational program will feature a keynote address by Paul Baffico, founder of Invisible Intellect Management Services and retired president of Sears Automotive Group. After his successful 35-year career at Sears, Baffico founded Invisible Intellect, a consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, leadership and operations management.

The program also includes a special session with the California Air Resource Board (CARB) for scan tool manufacturers and a Town Hall meeting with manufacturers representatives concerning ETI services.

For more details about ETI ToolTech and other programs and activities, contact Brian Irish, Marketing Manager, Equipment and Tool Institute, PO Box 13966, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3966. Phone: 919-406-8823; Fax: 919-406-1306; e-mail: [email protected]

Founded in 1947, the Equipment and Tool Institute is a trade association of automotive tool and equipment manufacturers and technical information providers. ETI’s mission is to: Advance the vehicle service industry by providing technical data and open dialog between the manufacturers of transportation products, government regulators and the providers of tools, equipment and service information.

Carlson Named Hendrick Motorsports General Manager

NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick today introduced Marshall Carlson as general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. The 32-year-old will oversee day-to-day operations of the company, which fields five full-time stockcar teams and employs more than 500 people.

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“I can’t think of a more appropriate or capable person to serve our 500 employees and their families,” Hendrick said. “Marshall has been with our racing and automotive operations for years and has experience in many different areas of this business.

“From working in a team shop to overseeing millions of dollars in new construction, he’s always played a key role and will certainly continue to do so for a long time.”

A native of Charlotte, N.C., Carlson most recently managed more than $200 million in real estate projects as vice president of corporate financial management with the Hendrick Automotive Group, a company owned by Hendrick that operates more than 60 automotive retail locations across the United States.

Carlson started with Hendrick Motorsports literally at the ground level, sweeping floors in the chassis shop as part of a college summer internship. After earning a degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996, Carlson served as team engineer for the organization’s fledgling NASCAR SuperTruck Series (now Craftsman Truck Series) entry. Under the direction of crew chief Dennis Connor, the group earned the organization’s first of three circuit championships in 1997.

Following the 1998 season, Carlson was reassigned to work under longtime Hendrick Motorsports executive Dan Lohwasser, who oversaw the team’s sponsorship and marketing efforts. As director of marketing services, Carlson worked with sponsors, managed the team’s show-car business and launched Hendrick’s first e-commerce Internet site.

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In 2000, Carlson started as project manager on a $10 million facilities effort at the Hendrick Motorsports campus, which included the design and construction of race-shop space now housing the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams of drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. The role prepared Carlson well for his 2002 assignment to lead Hendrick Automotive Group’s real estate initiative.

Serving as a spotter and crew member, Carlson was also an early influence on the racing career of his late brother-in-law Ricky Hendrick, who in 1998 began NASCAR Late Model and USAR Pro Cup competition throughout the southeastern United States and later enjoyed driving success in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series.

Carlson, who lives in Charlotte with wife Lynn and daughter Kate, will continue the work of former Hendrick Motorsports vice president and general manager Jeff Turner, who was lost in an aircraft accident Oct. 24. Turner assumed the role in March 2002 after nearly two decades in various management roles with Rick Hendrick’s companies.

OEM Web Site Audit Updates Available Online

Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to conduct an audit of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Web sites to gather feedback from the technician community on their experiences accessing repair information.

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As part of the program, a steering committee comprised of 15 industry representatives from OEMs, tool companies, repair facilities and aftermarket associations, was formed to oversee the evaluation process, including providing updates via the OEM Audit Web site www.oemaudit.com.

The EPA announced this week the site is now up and running. The site features information about the project, including an overview of the audit process and contact information for committee members. The group will add updates throughout the year. The audit is expected to be complete by September.

On June 27, 2003, the EPA finalized its regulations requiring OEMs to make available all information necessary to use onboard diagnostic (OBD) systems. The regulations required any information for making automotive emissions-related repairs, including any emissions-related information provided by the OEMs, be made available to franchised dealers. The ruling required each OEM to develop a Web site by the end of 2003 containing the service information for all 1996 and later model year vehicles and light-duty trucks.

Pete Joy Elected Chairman of Heavy Duty Aftermarket Council

The Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) has formed its new Heavy Duty Aftermarket Council (HDAMC) and elected Robert “Pete” Joy, president of Haldex Commercial Vehicle Systems, North American Sales Division, as chairman at the group’s inaugural meeting on Jan. 11 in Chicago.

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The election is in progress for the vice chairman and advisory council members.

The new HDAMC will meet quarterly to address issues such as dealer vs. traditional channels, supply chain management, marketing groups, forecasting, best practices, issues around national warranty programs and aftermarket opportunities in emerging markets such as Europe, China and La.

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