Wey, Reed & Voss take a break from supercross to test drive some true Detroit muscle!
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., (April 4, 2003) — Team Mach 1’s Nick Wey, along with fellow Yamaha dirt bike pilots Chad Reed and Heath Voss, took advantage of some time off following Thursday’s THQ Supercross Series press day at the Silverdome and headed over to DaimlerChrysler Headquarters to test drive some high performance Dodge product.
When it was all said and done and Dodge vehicles — namely the 500 horsepower Viper SRT-10 — were put away with nary a scratch, you’d have needed two men and a crowbar to pry the smiles off the faces of the Wey & Co.
“Dude, that Viper is insane,” said Wey. “And that SRT-4? Man, that thing’s like a Honda Accord on crack!” The SRT-4 is Dodge’s brand new factory answer to the booming high performance import market. Built off the Neon platform, it’s a 225-plus horsepower micro rocket that lays claim to the “World’s fastest production car under $20,000.” And all three supercross riders agreed it was a blast to drive.
The Dodge PR department, specifically Dave Elshoff, motorcycle enthusiast and Senior Manager, Sales & Marketing PR, DaimlerChrysler Corportation, rolled out the Motor City’s version of the red carpet — which happens to be banked pavement with no speed limit – for the supercross athletes that were stationed at the Silverdome, just across from the massive DaimlerChrysler Headquarters.
“This is an attempt to associate the Dodge brand with some real-life ‘Grab Life by the Horns’ guys,” said Elshoff. “While not household names among baby boomers, supercross racers like Nick Wey are well known by the under-24 Millennial generation, who proportionately make up the greatest audience share for action sports such as Supercross.”
Reed, who owns two Dodge trucks, was blown away by the high performance cars — especially when given the green light to wring them out on the S-turns and high banks of the DaimlerChrysler Evaluation Track.
“I can’t believe this,” said the beaming Reed as he climbed from the cockpit of the Viper SRT-10. “This car is so fast. It’s amazing. I definitely want to get one of those Viper trucks!” (The “Viper” truck Reed speaks about is soon-to-be released Ram SRT-10, featuring the 500 horsepower aluminum V-10 from the Dodge Viper.)
Back on the track, several other supercross dignitaries were treated to some hot laps in the Dodge product. Clear Channel’s Supercross PR Manager, Denny Hartwig, opted for the relatively tame (by the Viper’s standards) Ram 1500 Hemi pickup, while Yamaha PR Director Terry Beal made a B-line for the Viper.
“I’ll tell you what,” said Beal to Elshoff. “Don’t start giving out lap times to Wey and these guys. Do that and all Hell will break loose!”
By way of background, Dodge was one of the primary sponsors of this summer’s Gravity Games, which featured top “action sports” athletes from the fields of skateboarding, in-line vert, BMX, freestyle motocross and wakeboarding. Jeep, too, has gotten involved with these sports through the brand’s sponsorship of the world’s best selling video games, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, ESPN’s X Games and the U.S. Open of Snowboarding.
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