SEMA announced NHRA Top Fuel champion Antron Brown will testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee as it considers passage of the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
Brown, a professional NHRA driver-team owner who has won three Top Fuel Championships, began his racing career about 40 years ago by modifying street-legal motorcycles into dedicated race motorcycles. Today, he says this ability to compete in modified street-legal vehicles is at risk. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a draft ruling in 2015 stating that it is not legal to convert production vehicles into dedicated race vehicles. Although the ruling was never finalized, the EPA maintains its position that such conversions are not legal and continues to enforce against the production and sale of high-performance parts.
“The RPM Act is essential to the racing community, particularly for grassroots racers who are just getting started,” said Brown. “It’s imperative that we protect the ability for young men and women to be able to compete at the track. The RPM Act will give racers the assurance they need to continue this American tradition.”
Most of America’s 100,000-plus racers began competing in modified street vehicles. It is a cost-effective way to get started in motorsports, SEMA says. Passage of the RPM Act would enshrine in Federal law the right to modify street vehicles into dedicated race vehicles, thereby giving the racing community the certainty it needs to continue a long-standing practice without fear of EPA enforcement, SEMA continues.
“Passage of the RPM Act will bring clarity to grassroots racers and businesses that manufacture, sell, and distribute motorsports parts,” said Mike Spagnola, president and CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the trade association representing the automotive aftermarket that is pushing for passage of the RPM Act. “We’re grateful to the elected officials who strongly support and advocate for Congress to pass the RPM Act. The industry has been in limbo and in a state of uncertainty for far too long; it’s time to pass the RPM Act!”
Brown’s testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will showcase the positive impact of racing, SEMA adds. He will be joined by his sons Adler and Anson, who compete in NHRA’s Junior Drag Racing Series, and his wife Billie Jo. Antron will share details about his family’s personal journey in motorsports, which includes four generations of Brown family members competing on the track.
“I owe a lot to motorsports; there are many great lessons that come from racing,” said Brown. “I’m urging Congress to help protect motorsports and ensure that it remains a viable pastime for all Americans by passing the RPM Act.”