DENSO Iridium spark plugs rocketed NHRA racer Matt Smith across the finish line Sunday to capture the 2018 Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship at the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals. Smith also capped the 2018 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with five runs breaking the 200-mph mark during the closing event in Pomona, Calif., including a record-breaking 201.22 mph pass to clinch the title as the fastest Pro Stock Motorcycle racer in NHRA history.
“The new DENSO Iridium spark plugs powered us to the No. 1 qualifying position to win each race and the championship,” Smithsaid. In the winning streak that kicked off Saturday with a 200.65 mph run in his first qualifying race, Smith shattered the previoushigh-speed record during Sunday’s finale. “At 201.22 mph, we became the fastest Pro Stock Motorcycle in the history of the class with DENSO Iridium spark plugs.”
Smith’s win marks his third time in the winner’s circle as the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion. Smith’s lightning-speed runs made him the third racer this year to enter the DENSO 200-mph Club, earning him a bonus of $3,000 from DENSO. DENSO created the club early in the 2018 season to honor the first four racers in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category to break the 200-mph barrier. Smith also takes home a $1,000 bonus for riding on DENSO spark plugs.
Smith was joined by first-time world champion Tanner Gray, who rode DENSO spark plugs to victory in the Pro Stock automobile class. At 19, Gray is also the youngest winner in NRHA Drag Racing history.
DENSO Products and Services Americas, Inc., an affiliate of leading global automotive supplier DENSO Corp., is an associate-level sponsor of Smith. DENSO is also the primary sponsor of Angie Smith, Matt Smith’s teammate and wife, who finished the 2018 season among the top 10 Pro Stock Motorcycle racers.
For three consecutive years, DENSO has been the title sponsor of the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas and a supporting sponsor of the entire NHRA Mello Yello Series. In August, DENSO renewed its title sponsorship for another three years, starting with the NRHA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway scheduled for April 5-7, 2019.
At every race, DENSO welcomes fans to the midway to learn more about and purchase DENSO’s premium Iridium TT, Iridium Power and Iridium Racing spark plugs. DENSO also posts its own race and product updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube throughout the series.
For half a century, DENSO has sponsored world-class motor sports, including NHRA, NASCAR, Formula One, World Rally Championship and Super GT races. DENSO spark plugs, alternators, radiators and engine management systems are among the precision original equipment and replacement auto parts widely used by professional racing teams on every circuit around the globe.
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.
DENSO is a $48.1 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today, including Toyota, Honda, FCA, GM, Ford, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 220 facilities in 35 countries to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, & electronic systems, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company’s 170,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. For more information about global DENSO, visit https://www.denso.com/global.
In North America, DENSO employs 24,000+ engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 31 sites in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,000+ employees across 11 states and 25 sites. Headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, in fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, DENSO in North America generated $10.9 billion in consolidated sales.
Join us, and craft not only how the world moves, but also your career. For more information, go to https://www.denso.com/us-ca/en/.
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