The Friends of Coal have teamed up with longtime West Virginia sportsman drag racer Greg Fowler to share the power of coal with race fans at International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) events throughout the Eastern United States .

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said, “Not only is Greg a world-class racer, but he’s a West Virginia native who through his work in and around the coal industry understands the important role coal plays in everyone’s lives.  We’ll all be rooting for him while he’s on tour and we’re sure he’ll pull out a bunch of wins.”

A Point Pleasant, West Virginia native, Fowler is an accomplished drag racer competing in the IHRA’s Hot Rod Sportsman’s Class.  In 2007 he was the IHRA Division I Champion in the eastern U.S. and finished the year 7th in the world.  In 2008, he finished 16th in the world.

Fowler’s 1980 Camero is powered by an 850 horsepower, 498 cubic inch engine and the lightening fast car now has the Friends of Coal logo emblazoned on the side.

“I’m proud to have the opportunity to showcase West Virginia coal and the benefit it provides to our state and nation as I travel the IHRA circuit,” Fowler said.  “Working with the industry and having a tool like my car is a perfect fit. Race fans understand the need for power and I look forward to telling them what’s under the hood, so to speak, in West Virginia.”
 
Fowler plans to compete at the remaining IHRA National events and at the Divisional events in New York and Pittsburgh. The remaining National event schedule includes July 31-Aug. 2 IHRA Northern Nationals in Martin, MI; the Sept. 11-13 IHRA North American Nationals in Epping, NH;  the Sept. 25-27 IHRA President’s Cup Nationals and the World Finals in Rockingham, NC Oct 22–25.

For additional information, contact Bill Raney at (304) 342-4153.
May 28, 2009 · The president of the West Virginia Coal Association visited St. Francis Elementary school in Beckley.

Raney spoke with third graders as part of a Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary project called Coal in the Classroom. St. Francis was the first school to adopt the curriculum but it’s expected to expand to the public school system this fall.

The fifth and final Coal in the Classroom session wrapped up on Wednesday.

Now, Morgan Hylton says she has a better understanding of what her dad does for a living.

“My dad is an above ground miner,” Hylton said. “Learn they burn coal to make electricity if we didn’t have it we wouldn’t be able to have a lot of stuff.”