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K&N Employee Greg Ventura Honors Father with NHRA Division 7 Race Win at Fontana

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Greg Ventura relies on K&N, Lucas Oil, Taylor Freezers, Carroll Shelby Goodyear, RaceTrans, Autometer, Aeromotive, Edelbrock, Total Seal Piston Rings, T&D Rocker Arms and Brodix

Greg Ventura relies on K&N, Lucas Oil, Taylor Freezers, Carroll Shelby Goodyear, RaceTrans, Autometer, Aeromotive, Edelbrock, Total Seal Piston Rings, T&D Rocker Arms and Brodix

Greg Ventura, a Material Lifecycle Analyst for K&N air filters, has been drag racing for over 22 years. Having been born into a drag racing family, Greg practically grew up at the drag strip. Greg’s father, Al Ventura, was a well-known figure in the local Southern California drag racing scene. Sadly, Al Ventura lost his battle to cancer in 2012 and his son Greg continues to struggle with the loss. “My father was my best friend, and without his leadership and being the great example he was, I wouldn’t be racing today,” said Greg Ventura.

“Since my dad passed I have struggled a bit with issues with the car and psychologically as a driver. When you’re racing you have to be 100% focused. I’ve gone a few rounds but ultimately I was eliminated due to a bad light or lack of focus,” said Ventura. Greg relied heavily on Al’s experience since the beginning of his drag racing career. With his father’s guidance Greg built his first race car out of a rough Chevy II Nova originally intended to be his daily driver after he was actually old enough to get a driver’s license. Greg said, “My father was my engine builder and did the majority of the mechanics work on our cars. Since he left us, there was quite a big learning curve with the engine and other areas of the car.”

Greg Ventura has been drag racing for over 22 years but he hit a dry spell after his father Al Ventura lost his battle to cancer in 2012

Greg Ventura, a Material Lifecycle Analyst for K&N air filters, has been drag racing for over 22 years but he hit a dry spell after his father Al Ventura lost his battle to cancer in 2012

Luckily Greg has been able to lean upon fellow racers with several of those racers also filling prominent positions in K&N air filters’ research and development departments. One such K&N employee/drag racer who has lent a hand to Ventura on more than one occasion is Kevin McClelland who serves as K&N’s Director of OEM business. In a manner of speaking, Kevin comes from drag racing royalty as many people refer to his father Dave McClelland as “The Voice of NHRA.” “I have leaned on Kevin for a lot of engine building advice, and I know I’ve worn him out with questions at times. But Kevin has been a really big help getting me pointed in the right direction,” said Ventura.

Ventura recently entered a Division 7 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California. NHRA division 7 covers a large geographical area and consisting of California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. At this particular race there were 74 entries, which resulted in seven rounds of eliminations for the Super Gas class that Greg Ventura competes in. Ventura made quick work of rounds one through four taking out competitors from around the region. However, going into round 5 Ventura knew things were going to get a little tricky. There were still two K&N employees, Steve Williams and Kevin McClelland, as well as one of Greg’s good friends, left in the Super Gas competition and Ventura knew he’d eventually go toe to toe with one of them.

K&N Employee, and longtime drag racer, Greg Ventura earned an emotional win at Auto Club Dragway and dedicated the win to his father and racing mentor Al Ventura

K&N Employee, and longtime drag racer, Greg Ventura earned an emotional win at Auto Club Dragway and dedicated the win to his father and racing mentor Al Ventura

As luck would have it Greg Ventura found himself lined up against his friend and mentor Kevin McClelland in the Super Gas quarter-finals. As Ventura prepared to stage against McClelland at the starting line disaster struck as Ventura’s battery was completely dead and the car would not start. Kevin, as any good friend would, agreed to wait while Ventura got his car jump started. Following that round it was Greg Ventura who got the win and a straight shot into the final round of eliminations. “I know Kevin wasn’t happy to lose. I don’t know any good losers. But I think he was proud to see that I held it together and the car ran well. With his assistance of course,” said Ventura.

As Greg headed to the final round of Super Gas eliminations behind the wheel of his father’s 1966 Chevy II Nova, which he and Al built together in 1998, the fact that complete focus is necessary while racing was never clearer. This time, however, it was Greg’s opponent Dave Mezier who left early with a red-light foul start essentially dropping the race trophy into Ventura’s lap. “Since my dad passed, I’ve struggled while racing. This was a great race to get this rough streak off my back and finally get a win,” said Greg. “I would like to thank K&N for their help and support of my racing efforts as well as Lucas Oil Products, Taylor Freezers, Carroll Shelby Goodyear, RaceTrans, Autometer, Aeromotive, Edelbrock, Total Seal Piston Rings, T&D Rocker Arms and Brodix for their support. I want to dedicate this win to my father Al Ventura.”

Greg Ventura’s 1966 Chevy II Nova is powered by a 565 cubic-inch Chevrolet big block engine. Greg relies on the superior airflow and superior performance of K&N filters both on the track and off. Greg uses K&N Pro Stock Hood Scoop, number 100-8506, in conjunction with K&N Hood Scoop Racing Air Filter, number 28-4210. Additionally, Greg uses K&N wrench-off premium oil filter, number HP-3002, and K&N inline billet aluminum reusable fuel filter, number 81-1005. Find K&N performance parts for your drag racer, grocery getter, or lawn mower at KNFilters.com.


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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.