GLENDORA, Calif. (June 18, 2015) - NHRA announced today it has named the Will Kinzer Foundation for Autism Research in association with the Autism Society of East Tennessee as the presenting sponsor for the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, June 19-21, in Bristol, Tenn. The race is the fifth of 10 events for the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series in 2015.

The Will Kinzer Foundation for Autism is a nonprofit organization that was created by Brandon Kinzer and his family after his son James Willard Kinzer II (Will) was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2007. The Will Kinzer Foundation was set up to spread awareness of autism, a disease that affects more than two million people in the United States and tens of millions worldwide, and aid families with the financial burden of autism treatment.

"There were not many places to turn when our son got diagnosed," Brandon Kinzer said. "We were just trying help families with things like tuition, money to schools and programs, trips to the doctor - make things a little easier. This weekend we just hope to raise awareness for autism. We got hooked up with the Autism Society of East Tennessee and we're really happy that they're helping. I thought it would raise more awareness if people from that area could talk to someone from that area."

The Autism Society of East Tennessee empowers youth with autism to reach their full potential by providing support, services, advocacy, education and public awareness for all individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families, as well as educators and other professionals. Incorporated as a nonprofit in 1989, the Autism Society helps individuals with autism and their families plan individualized, appropriate services and supports. The Autism Society is currently fundraising to launch a new online database that will strive to revolutionize the way families with autism connect to local services. For more information or to make a donation, please visit

"The Will Kinzer Foundation sponsored the race and they very graciously contacted us to see if we could benefit from the sponsorship and if we were interested and we certainly were," Margaret Stanley of the Autism Society of East Tennessee said. "We serve 36 counties in East Tennessee and with one in 68 kids being diagnosed with autism, the need for support and services here in East Tennessee is huge. Any opportunity we can get to interact with the public and tell them about what autism is, why it's important to get involved and about what we do and what the Kinzer Foundation does is so important."

Featuring the world's fastest and most unique doorslammer race cars, the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast. The growing class is highlighted by historic muscle cars, like '67 Mustangs, '68 Firebirds and '69 Camaros, as well as a variety of late model American muscle cars. With more than 3,000 horsepower, the suspended door pro mod cars travel the quarter-mile in less than six seconds at speeds exceeding 250 mph.

The 2015 NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series is showcased in a 10-race schedule that includes stops at several NHRA national events across the country. Veteran racer Rickie Smith of North Carolina is a two-time and reigning world champion of the class.

Each event will be televised on the Velocity Channel, which is owned by the Discovery Network. Each race will air in a half-hour show, produced by Masters Entertainment Group, and will air during 10 consecutive weeks in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Bob Rahaim won the season-opening race in Gainesville, Fla. in mid-March while Don Walsh raced to victory in the series' second event in late April at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston. Kenny Lang won the third Pro Mod event at Atlanta Dragway in early May and Bill Glidden raced to his first career victory two weeks ago at the season's fourth and most recent event in Englishtown, N.J.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Youth Racing for teens and the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

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