Brown’s Congressional Testimony is Passionate Plea on Behalf of Motorsports

NHRA driver Antron Brown advocates for the motorsports industry by testifying before the U.S. Committee on Environment and Public Works in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 7, 2022.
Antron Brown testifying before the U.S. Committee on Environment and Public Works in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 7, 2022.
NHRA driver Antron Brown advocates for the motorsports industry by testifying before the U.S. Committee on Environment and Public Works in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 7, 2022.

Antron Brown shared personal stories about the lessons motorsports taught him, advocating for the industry as he testified in front of Congress on September 7, 2022.

It was a big week for Antron Brown — on Sunday, he took home the NHRA Top Fuel Wally from the U.S. Nationals and on Wednesday, he sat in front congress, advocating on behalf of the industry that has shaped him on behalf of the SEMA-supported Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act.

“Racing is much more than just a pastime for me,” said Brown. “I have countless fond childhood memories and have learned many life lessons at the racetrack. I have built a life on the track and am building a business through AB Motorsports. I feel strongly that we must keep the path to entry into motorsports accessible to future racers.”

Brown has been involved in motorsports for nearly 40 years, from motorcycling racing as a kid, to winning 70 NHRA races, and own his own race team. He has been a true part of the larger community, promoting the sanctioning body to youth and community groups as part of safety initiatives to keep racing off the street. The lessons of goal setting, hard work and more taken from his life in motorsports helped shape him, and he shared those lessons with the committee.

The aim of the testimony, and the RPM act, is to help congress and the Environmental Protection Act agency distinguish between daily drivers and street vehicles and those designed and modified for motorsports by not legislating them the same way.

“Americans all over the country enjoy the hobby of modifying vehicles into racecars,” said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. “The bipartisan Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act would clarify that vehicles to be used solely for competition are not to be treated like the cars that drive on our nation’s roads. This legislation would ensure small businesses that help hobbyists who transition vehicles into racecars, which are not driven on the roads, are not unfairly punished or targeted through EPA enforcement. It was a pleasure to welcome champion driver Antron Brown today and hear his life’s story, which reinforces how the RPM Act would protect the future of motorsports by making clear those who want to pursue their passion can affordably do so without fear of Washington bureaucrats.”

Brown also elaborated on the financial realities for enthusiasts and hobbyists if the EPA regulated motorsports in the same way it did street vehicles by emphasizing that modding a vehicle as opposed to buying a new one is how most racers and enthusiasts participated in the sport, citing an example of a converted motorcycle that he raced and the exorbitant price it would have been if he’d purchased it purpose-built.  Brown’s testimony helped voice the concerns of the racers, in addition to the independent shops and manufacturers who have been affected by potentially overzealous EPA reaction to modded parts and engines.  The RPM Act is designed to protect drivers, teams and builders.

In addition, Brown, SEMA and other advocates are clear that the RPM act is intended to support motorsports and dedicated race vehicles, not negate the Clean Air Act.

“For nearly 45 years, the Clean Air Act did not apply to dedicated race vehicles. The EPA’s recent interpretation of the law has thrown the motorsports industry into a state of uncertainty,” said Mike Spagnola, President and CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). “Now that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has held a hearing on the RPM Act, we urge the committee to schedule a vote on the bill. SEMA is urging all racers, motorsports businesses, and fans to ask their elected officials to support and pass the RPM Act.”

“Racers and small businesses that manufacture, distribute, and sell race parts have waited long enough. It’s time to pass the RPM Act and give the racing community the clarity it needs and deserves,” said Spagnola.

The SaveOurRacecars.com website has resources to help identify and contact the appropriate policymakers about the RPM Act.

About Andreanna Ditton 311 Articles
Andreanna Ditton is the Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief for the Internet Brands Automotive Classifieds Group, of which RacingJunk is the flagship site. She has worked in the automotive publishing industry since 2007, focusing on racing and performance issues.

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