**IRVINE, Calif. (Aug. 13, 2012) **--- Early this year, thousands of drag racers chased the dream and entered Kawasaki’s nationally-promoted “Zero to Hero Challenge,” hoping for the opportunity to face-off against multi-time champion Rickey Gadson and take home a new Kawasaki Ninja® ZX™-14R. Beginning this week, the drama that led to the ultimate winner takes center stage on both SPEED and FUEL TV.
Both cable networks will treat viewers to an inside look at the process all contestants went through on their way to challenging Gadson on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway drag strip in May. The SPEED episodes begin this week, playing on-the-hour, from 8:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. FUEL TV time slots are scheduled to get underway beginning Aug. 20.
Just getting there wasn’t easy. Kawasaki’s call for entries drew more than 3,000 names and each submitted an essay describing “Why I am qualified to race Rickey Gadson.” These were all vetted and eventually eight semi-finalists were selected and their entries were posted on www.kawasaki.com, asking the public to vote for the final four who would board planes for Las Vegas.
The four—plus an alternate—were given the opportunity to participate in a two-day Rickey Gadson Drag Racing School at the famous venue, and each was then put through NHRA testing to qualify for ET Motorcycle Competition licenses. This then allowed them to take to the pavement for an official shot at one of the best known drag racers ever to don leathers.
Yes, one of the contestants went home with the new Kawasaki. But the story is as much related to the “how” as it is to the “who” in this unique competition. And the drama will play out over the course of the scheduled episodes on both cable networks.
The SPEED programming is slated for Aug. 13 through Aug. 16, with each of the four episodes receiving multiple plays in all time categories. A similar schedule on FUEL TV follows.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, Side x Sides, and personal watercraft through a network of more than 1,200 independent retailers, with an additional 7,400 retailers specializing in Kawasaki power products and general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100 people in the United States, with 300 of them located at KMC's Irvine, California headquarters.
Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll.™”, is recognized worldwide. For five decades, the Kawasaki brand has become synonymous with powerful, stylish and category-leading vehicles. Information about Kawasaki’s complete line of powersports products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at www.kawasaki.com.