2018 POWERPRO AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
This year, we’re proud to introduce the 2018 roster of OPTIMA® Batteries’ PowerPro Ambassadors. From hot rods and diesels, to off-roading and imports, these individuals are some of the most well-respected and well-known enthusiasts from across the country.
We’re honored to have the best of the best representing OPTIMA Batteries and using our products. As a PowerPro Ambassador, each serves as a brand advocate within his or her respective discipline, educating enthusiasts and consumers alike about why OPTIMA Batteries products have earned the title “The Ultimate Power Source™.”
Founder/Owner of BBI Motorsport, Porsche enthusiast
Betim has helped create a wide range of track-ready components for modern Porsche vehicles. The shop’s 911 competition cars have proven successful in many road racing events and their line of premium performance parts is constantly expanding.
Not only is Jason Blanton the CEO of Krown Construction, based out of Washington state, but he’s also the head of Blanton Racing and a successful member of the Nitto Racing Team. Jason started his career as an Ultra4 racer, and has participated in every King of the Hammers competition since 2010. In 2018, Jason finished 3rd in Ultra4 national points in 2013, and 2nd at Glen Helen in 2015. He currently resides in Kirkland, WA and drives the #996 Nitto Tire Ultra4 Buggy.
Founder/CEO of Micro Strategies, Owner of Bongiovanni Racing Team
The founder of a successful technology company in New Jersey, Anthony put his business savvy to the test again by starting his own family racing team to compete in NHRA events. Since 2009, Bongiovanni Racing has run Ford Cobra Jet Mustangs, and took home a first place finish at the 2016 Dutch Classic beating out 124 other cars.
Founder/Owner of TommyBuilt Designs & car audio expert
Tom’s an audio guy and has done everything from costume and prop building to custom automotive fabrication. He’s worked on projects for MTV's “Pimp My Ride” and built Deadmau5’s famous costume head. Most recently, Tom can be seen on Velocity’s new show, “Junkyard Empire.”
Professional Short Course Off Road Racer
Since he turned pro at the age of 14, Jerett Brooks has dominated the off road scene. He’s a professional Short Course Off Road racer, piloting the #77 Jerett Brooks Racing Pro Lite. He is a 2-time former X-Games athlete, 2014 TORC Pro Lite Champion and 2016 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro Lite Champion.
Founder/Owner of BimmerWorld
James started BimmerWorld right out of college, and today, it is the foremost supplier of replacement and high‐performance parts and accessories for BMW vehicles in the U.S., and also home to a successful series of racing cars. James began racing with his BimmerWorld Racing team shortly after and now is sponsored by OPTIMA® Batteries in the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge series.
Founder of pirate4x4.com, Six-Time Baja 1000 Winner
As the founder of the largest 4x4 website and forum in the world (with tens of millions of page views per month), it is evident Lance is an influential in the off-roading industry. His six Baja 1000 wins and King of the Hammers qualifications prove he’s a master of the mountains.
Founder/Owner of Evolution Dynamics, Mitsubishi enthusiast
Kevin is the owner of one of the nation’s most respected shops focused on the Mitsubishi Evolution 8, 9 and X, offering upgrade parts and fabrication for street and competition‐level vehicles.
See what Kevin is up to on Facebook.
Most Wins in Ultra4 History, Two-Time King of the Hammers Champion
After winning King of The Hammers for the second time and then going undefeated in the next four races, Loren’s 2014 season was one many racers only dream about. This success, combined with his 2015 West Regional Series win, demonstrates an undeniable dominance in the off-road racing and Ultra4 community.
Founder/Owner of Johnson’s Hot Rods
Alan’s creations have won nearly every major award. His recent ventures into racing on the Bonneville salt have proven fruitful, and his muscle car builds have also been well-received. He may always be known for traditional Hot Rods, but Alan’s talents have no limits.
Founder/Owner of Hollywood Hot Rods
Troy has a reputation for designing and building some of the finest traditionally styled hot rods that perform well both on the street and on the race track, in addition to winning major show awards. He’s been regarded as one of the top trendsetters in the game and has created a series of noted hot rods, most recently including “The Full Metal Jacket,” a 2014 Ford Mustang GT Convertible and the Street Rodder Road Tour 1940 Ford Coupe.
Founder of Lutz Racecars, 2016 Streetcar World Champion
A celebrity within the streetcar industry, Jeff was named the undisputed streetcar champion of the world in 2016 at Hot Rod Drag Week and drives the “Mad Max” and “The 57” on Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws. His extensive skills and experience then led him to found Lutz Racecars, an auto shop specializing in chassis building, turbo systems, dyno-tuning, roll-cage updates and cage certification.
Founder/Owner of No Limit Engineering
Rob’s shop, No Limit Engineering, is revolutionizing the realm of pickup truck performance. Making vintage pickup trucks handle like sports cars is no easy task, but MacGregor’s own track vehicles have changed the perception of what trucks can do.
Check him out on Facebook.
Former President/Co-founder of Poison Spyder Customs, Jeep/off-road enthusiast
Larry reached elite status in the competitive off-road and rock crawling by winning multiple championships with "Tiny," the famous rock crawling buggy that revolutionized the sport. Larry strives for excellence and thrives on competition. Whether on the trail with a group of buddies, or in his many successful business ventures, Larry enjoys a challenge and has a real thirst for learning new things.
Founder/Owner of Murphy’s Law Motorsports
Lucas is the owner of Murphy’s Law Motorsports, a competitive rock-crawling/racing team based on the East coast. He is a well-regarded competitor, having competed nationwide at races like King of the Hammers, Deep Wood Extreme Rock Crawl, RCRocks and more off-road trail rides. He’s been welding and swapping parts under the hood before he could legally drive, and four-wheeling ever since.
Check him out on Facebook.
President/Test Driver at Shelby American, Ford enthusiast
Gary is one of the most knowledgeable experts on both vintage and modern Shelby automobiles. He is also a talented driver and event administrator, and an all-around expert on Mustang performance.
Three-Time World Record Holder in Men's Slalom
Chris has been shredding water skiing slalom events on both coasts since he was seven years old. A nine-time national champion, Parrish has already broken several world and national records, won three Moomba Masters Championships, two U.S. Masters titles and the U.S. Open.
Automotive Industry Expert
This towering guy's guy is a walking encyclopedia of automotive history and fuel-powered folklore. Dennis knows the ins-and-outs of every make and model, and loves to burn rubber in all of them. He's a racer, automotive industry expert and classic car restorer who’s always hunting for his next great set of wheels.
11‐time SCCA Solo II National Champion
As a constant threat on the current Pro-Touring scene and an 11‐time SCCA Solo II National Champion, Mary’s driving talents are proven and well‐respected. She’s the person to beat when it comes to vintage racing. Mary proudly owns and drives a '73 Camaro RS, '69 Camaro and a 1989 R7U 1LE Players Challenge car.
Follow Mary on Instagram.
Co-founder of BangShift, Domestic Musclecar enthusiast
Through his BangShift website, Chad keeps his finger on the pulse of the hot rodding world. He has seen the street-legal performance segment grow to where it is today. Check BangShift on Facebook and Twitter.
Co-founder of Far From Stock, Mopar enthusiast
Darrell is a Mopar loyalist and co-founder of Far From Stock, an automotive lifestyle brand, featuring apparel and specialty parts, with a strong social media enthusiast following. Him and his partner Brandon Folk\ have captured national attention with their unique, custom trucks that are displayed proudly at events around the country.
Founder/Owner of Sportcar Motion, Honda enthusiast
Loi has succeeded at winning class races at the drags and on the road course, and he’s known as one of the nation’s premiere Honda tuners for both engines and suspensions, regardless of the track.
General Motors Program Engineering Manager
Mark’s custom built Chevy Camaros are legendary in the industry. He has built more than 30 custom cars in his career, always following his unique vision to maximize performance. His book, “Detroit Speed Pro Touring Engineered Performance: Building the Mule,” details how he builds his cars to prepare them for races.
Check out Mark on Instagram.
BRIAN “WOODY” SWEARINGEN
Founder/Owner of TieRod Media
Woody has one of the best off-road resumes in the industry – whether he’s right-side-up or nearly upside-down on a rock crawler. He was a professional driver on the Toyota Trail Teams, and continues his passion for off-roading today by sharing it with the world. Woody is known for his first‐person approach to off‐road reporting and is the man behind IH8MUD.com,RockCrawler.com and UTVweekly, in addition to other digital properties he’s pioneered.
Neil Tjin, one of the automotive industry’s most influential designers, has been involved in the automotive aftermarket for over fifteen years. Neil’s “Tjin Edition” parts have catapulted him to recognition across a wide range of street-based performance and custom markets. Known for his daily-driver reliable SEMA show vehicles, Neil is poised to make a strong impression for years to come.
Founder/Owner of Hoppo’s Suspension
Art is recognized as a true artist with award‐winning hydraulic and pneumatic suspension systems completely manufactured in‐house at his facility in southern California.
Founder/Owner of Tucci’s Hot Rods
Dave has been designing and building award‐winning cutting edge hot rods since 1997. He’s been featured in many different top-tier publications and continues to be a strong advocate in the hot rod world. Today, Tucci’s Hot Rods is considered one of the leaders in the industry and known for their creative, innovative and customized designs by Dave’s son Dom Tucci. Not only is everything custom from chassis to body, motorcycles, complete cars and trucks, they are renowned for their specialty in sheet metal fabrication.
President/CEO of Weistec Engineering
Mike leads his California-based Weistec Engineering team in Mercedes-Benz research, development, and design to break records and set high performance standards. In 2017, Weistec’s 2018 Mercedes-AMG claimed the titles of fastest W213 E63 and the fastest tune-only E63 in the world, hitting 126.58 mph in just 10.849 seconds.
DAIJIRO “DAI” YOSHIHARA
Professional Competitive Drifting and Road Racing Driver, 2011 Formula DRIFT Points Champion
Yoshihara is a star on the drifting circuit. He finished in the top five of the Formula DRIFT Championship Series standings seven times in eight years from 2004-2011, including a points championship and a Tires.com Triple Crown in 2011. The GTChannel web series “Behind the Smoke,” documents Yoshihara’s memorable 2011 championship run.