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Rock Island Announces Sponsors: AT&T Returns as Presenting Sponsor for 16th Year, O'Reilly Auto Parts and Kids Racing for Kids Join the RIGP Team


ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS – The Rock Island Grand Prix, the world’s largest karting street race, is proud to announce that communications giant AT&T will return as a Presenting Sponsor of the race for the 16th year!

They will also be joined by several new sponsors in 2010.

While AT&T has shared the top billing at Rock Island from time to time, no other company has been such a high profile supporter for every year of the race’s existence. The long-term support from AT&T has allowed the race to thrive in some years and survive in others, according to RIGP president Roger Ruthhart.

“AT&T’s support of this grass roots motor sports event, the city of Rock Island and the Quad-Cities in general has been unsurpassed. Over the many years this support represents almost $150,000 in commitment to the sport of kart racing. We hope racers across the country keep that in mind when they make decisions about communication and internet suppliers and directory advertising,” said Ruthhart.

“The Quad-Cities Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has estimated that each year the Rock Island Grand Prix has an economic impact of more than $2 million on the local economy.  The investment by AT&T’s and other sponsors in the Quad-Cities has translated into more than $32 million over the life of the event,” Ruthhart added.

“Every year the Rock Island Grand Prix is an exciting event that brings the Quad-Cities community together and even brings racers and tourists from around the world,” said Dennis Pauley, director of external affairs for AT&T. “At AT&T we want to connect people to their world, everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else. That's why we are proud to continue our investment in the Quad-Cities as the presenting sponsor of the Rock Island Grand Prix. We look forward to an
exciting and enjoyable Rock Island Grand Prix in September.”
The Rock Island Grand Prix also has signed a new corporate partnership deal with O’Reilly Auto Parts.

“We are excited to have a dominant national retail and service-oriented company like O’Reilly Auto Parts involved with our event,” said Ruthhart. Our racers come from all over the country and whether it is parts for their karts, haulers, trailers or family vehicles, they can rely on the O’Reilly family of auto parts stores to keep their equipment rolling.”

“We look forward to working with the O’Reilly stores in the Quad-Cities and surrounding region to help promote their service and product lines,” Ruthhart added.

The RIGP is also proud to announce a new partnership with Kids Racing for Kids (KRFK). The foundation was started by Tim Self to benefit children who, unlike his son Austin, were unable to enjoy the thrills of racing. The foundation will sponsor the TAG Junior class at this year’s Rock Island Grand Prix.

“We would like to thank Tim Self, Jim Sharkey and Kids Racing for Kids foundation for their support this year. We look forward to helping to educate the karting world and the Quad-Cities about the great work done by this group,” said Ruthhart

“I started this foundation not only to give back to children in need, but also to promote positive values in kids that aren’t always learned by what they’re taught in school,” said Self. “I wanted to partner with a racing organization with exposure so we could get attention to the foundation, while bringing exposure to karting in the communities we race in.” 

Race details are available on the Grand Prix website at

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AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the United States and one of the largest in the world. AT&T is the recognized world leader in providing IP-based communications services to business and the U.S. leader in providing wireless, high speed Internet access, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. It also has the nation’s fastest 3G network and largest international coverage of any U.S. wireless carrier. As part of its "three screen" integration strategy, AT&T is expanding video entertainment offerings to include such next-generation television services as AT&T U-verse TV. AT&T provides international voice services to virtually every country and territory in the world and has the largest number of high speed Internet access subscribers in the U.S. It is a global company that sets the industry standard for a new era of integrated communications and entertainment services. In domestic markets, Yellow Pages and are leaders in directory publishing and advertising sales. The AT&T Foundation has contributed more than $1.9 billion to nonprofit organizations around the country, including $169 million in 2008.


O’Reilly Auto Parts is the dominant auto parts retailer in all of its markets. From a single store in 1957 it has grown to over 3,415 locations in 38 states with more than 44,000 team members. They assist not only the do-it-yourself customer but also the professional installer and offer a broad selection of national brand name, private-label and generic automotive products. CSK stores that have not converted to the O’Reilly name operate under four brand names. In the Midwest and Southeast the O’Reilly name is well known. Elsewhere its CSK stores are a household name. Checker Auto Parts stores are the standard in the southwest, Rocky Mountain, Northern Plains states and Hawaii. Schuck’s Auto Supply is the trusted name in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. California residents are served by Kragen Auto Parts and Murray’s Discount Auto Stores are also part of the O’Reilly family of companies. O’Reilly is the official auto parts store of NASCAR, is involved in many National Hot Rod Assn. events and sponsors many regional car and monster truck shows. ( and

Kids Racing For Kids (KRFK) is a charitable foundation developed around helping children shelters across the nation while instilling positive values into young racers.  Founder Tim Self said that knowing that racing is a privilege that not every child gets to be a part of, he decided to develop a program that would promote positive values into the new generation of racers while giving back at the same time.  ( .


The Downtown Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District hosts The Rock Island Grand Prix. It features retail shops, excellent restaurants, live entertainment, dinner theater, art galleries and comedy clubs all within walking distance of the host hotel. Jumer’s Casino & Hotel is just a short drive away. Rock Island is located on the Mississippi River three hours west of Chicago in an area known as the Quad-Cities which straddles the river and the Illinois/Iowa border. It is at the intersection of Interstate highways 74, 88 and 80 and is served by Quad City International Airport in Moline, Ill.

For more information on the Rock Island Grand Prix, visit our web site at

For information contact:
Jennifer Fowler (309) 788-6311;
Roger Ruthhart (309) 736-3517;


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