Don O'Neal Unveils New NGK/NTK Sponsored NHRA Top Sportsman Ride
12/10/2018
Evansville, IN
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NGK Spark Plugs USA, Inc., the Original Equipment leader in automotive ignition technology for both domestic and import vehicles, announced today that it has extended its relationship with NHRA Top Sportsman drag racer Don O’Neal.

don o'neal drag racerO’Neal has used NGK racing spark plugs in his 1999 Monte Carlo 632 Big Block Chevy engine with three-stage nitrous for the past five years and now O’Neal will look to use NTK engine sensors in a new race car. NTK is a member of the NGK Spark Plugs family of brands.

“This is a logical extension of our expansion into sensor technology,” said Danielle Orlando, General Manager of Marketing, NGK Spark Plugs. “There is a natural fit between the ways Don O’Neal and NGK think and do business.  We’re both moving into new markets together in 2019.  NGK is bringing its expanded NTK sensor line to consumers and into the motorsports world, while Don’s team has an exciting new race vehicle and engine combination. We are confident this will be a long-term, winning combination and are looking forward to a great partnership together in 2019 and beyond.”

O’Neal, who finished seventh in the NHRA’s national Top Sportsman standings in 2018, will compete with a different vehicle and power package in 2019. His new race car, a 2015 Chevrolet Camaro, will be powered by a Magnuson-supercharged Chevrolet 427 LS engine with VP Racing methanol. The engine will be triggered by a set of NGK racing spark plugs.

“I prefer NGK because of their quality,” O’Neal said. “They have less than a 1 percent failure rate. We don’t have time for any mechanical failures. We need our spark plug to light and stay lit so we can complete the run.”

don oneal ngk top sportsman camaro

O’Neal’s new car, branded with both the NGK and NTK brands, will be unveiled at the show in the Lucas Oil Arena feature vehicle hallway.

don oneal ntk top sportsman camaro

Drag racing has become technology-driven, O’Neal went on to say. Sensor information is now the key to a successful program and that is where the decision to align with the NTK brand stemmed from.

Top Sportsman cars are among the most interesting in all of drag racing, from a technical standpoint. The rules allow for supercharged, turbocharged and nitrous oxide-injected engines. The cars are full-bodied and typically complete their quarter-mile pass in seven seconds or less, routinely surpassing 200 miles per hour. The Top Sportsman category is part of the NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for sportsman racers. It is among the fastest categories in sportsman drag racing.

O’Neal said, “We are making the switch from a car with three stages of nitrous boost to a supercharged car. We wanted to make this change because we felt today’s customer could better relate to this new set-up. This new engine/vehicle combination is an opportunity for us to communicate the product message and the brand story about NGK and NTK’s OEM quality to everyday people.  It’s our goal to help create customer loyalty for both NGK spark plugs and now the newly expanded NTK line of oxygen and technical sensors. These are products we’ll be putting into play and they’re also products everyday people use in their own vehicles.”

The start of the 2019 drag racing season is still two months away, but Don O’Neal has already jumped ahead.

To support the recent release of its RUTHENIUM HX spark plug line, NGK also announced the company will be dressing Megan Meyer’s top-alcohol dragster with RUTHENIUM HX branding. Offering the latest in high-ignitability spark plug technology and comprised of the precious metal, RUTHENIUM HX consists of 25 part numbers covering over 200 million vehicles currently in operation. The new NGK RUTHENIUM HX offers higher ignitability, enhanced oxidation resistance and increased durability for today’s modern engines.

About NGK Spark Plugs – The World Leader in Spark Plug and Sensor Technology 

Since 1936, NGK Spark Plugs has been the world leader in technology, innovation, and world-class quality in the design of spark plugs and oxygen sensors. Today, NGK Spark Plugs manufactures ignition products, oxygen sensors, technical sensors and vehicle electronics for virtually every automotive manufacturer in the world. 

NGK has built a reputation for quality and reliability, and a commitment to excellence continues to be the driving force behind the company’s advanced research and development programs. With state-of-the-art manufacturing, inventory, and distribution facilities, NGK is dedicated to providing customers with world-class products and services. 

In addition to serving OE automotive and aftermarket customers, NGK also produces spark plugs for motorcycle, power sports, marine and small engine manufacturers. NGK also offers complementary product lines including resistor caps, spark plug wires, and high-performance cables. 

In North America, NGK is headquartered in Wixom, MI and maintains manufacturing, inventory, and distribution facilities in Irvine, CA, Sissonville, WV, and Chicago, IL. 

For more information about NGK Spark Plugs, (U.S.A), Inc., please visit our website www.ngksparkplugs.com.

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