Okuma America Corp. has entered a partnership with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), making it the Official Machine Tool Sponsor of the NHRA. The partnership is part of Okuma's High Performance Motorsports Industry (HPMI) program to support its customers in the motorsports business. NHRA members, teams and sponsors will gain access to Okuma's staff of engineers and sales and service forces and to the company's factory, user conferences and distributor engineering consulting services. For Larry Schwartz, Okuma president, the lessons learned from applying advanced machining technologies to the production of high-endurance, reliable racing engines will provide Okuma a competitive edge in the market. Okuma recently completed its first full season as the primary sponsor of the Bill Miller Engineering NHRA racing team. In that role, Okuma worked closely with the team to refine machining techniques and processes for the production of high-performance racing-engine components, including pistons. "Our relationship with Okuma shows how the racing fraternity and industry work together to improve competitiveness on the track while providing a dynamic test bed for advancements in production technology," says Bill Miller, president of Bill Miller Engineering. Okuma has lines of machining centers, lathes and grinders used in high-performance motorsports, the oil and energy production industries and general manufacturing industries. Okuma, through its full-circle approach to equipment engineering, called Mechatronics, matches mechanical and electrical components to meet demanding, high-performance metal cutting requirements.