The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) was owned by Feld Entertainment who also owns Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. However last week, the track owners of Palm Beach and Memphis have purchased the racing organization (source – IHRA).
The IHRA, which is the second largest sanctioning body in drag racing, is now owned by a newly formed company called IHRA Entertainment, LLC and will operate as IHRA Motorsports. The Nitro Jam and Thunder Jam series’ are included in the purchase and the new ownership has no wants to change the series as it stands. The new addition of Top Fuelers will not change.
Feld Entertainment also owns the Monster Truck series and Nuclear Cowboyz (freestyle motocross), and will concentrate more on those particular racing organizations. There had been grumbling in the past regarding how Feld ran the IHRA as a circus – which yours truly certainly complained as well.
The new management group will be headed by Jason Rittenberry as the CEO, while current President and General Manager Aaron Polburn will remain as well as Skooter Peaco who will continue as the head of race operations. The IHRA will maintain their headquarters in Norwalk, Ohio.
The ownership groups’ partners include Michael Dezer who is a large property owner in Florida, Joseph Lubeck who is a Chairman for a large apartment REIT, Edward Kobel who heads a large real estate development company and the already mentioned Mr. Rittenberry.
The IHRA sanctions more than 100 tracks and it’s thought the new organization will likely add events to the current schedule including the Palm Beach facility.