Hudson and McHenry move to protect auto racing from EPA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican whose district includes Stanly County as well as the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, cosponsored legislation last week to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from restricting modification of race cars. The bill’s lead sponsor is another Charlotte-area legislator, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC10).  

“The automotive and motorsports industries are a critical part of our community and economy,” said Rep. Hudson in a release. “I am proud to sponsor the RPM Act because car enthusiasts should not have their way of life threatened by the EPA and government bureaucrats.” 

The bill, titled the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2021, or “RPM Act,” will permanently prevent the EPA from regulating the modification of racing vehicles. While the Clean Air Act allows the EPA to regulate automobiles, there has always been an exemption for vehicles used solely for competition.  

In 2016, the EPA proposed a rule that would end this exemption and allow them to begin regulating the racing industry and how they modify vehicles. The EPA withdrew this proposal after pushback, but the RPM Act would make it explicit in law that no future rule of this kind can be considered.  

“Here in North Carolina, we enjoy a rich automotive heritage that not only plays an important role in our local economy, but is an activity enjoyed throughout the state,” said McHenry. “Representing a district with deep ties to motorsports, I am proud to support automobile racing and will work to ensure enthusiasts of the sport here in North Carolina and across the country can continue the time-honored tradition of modifying stock vehicles for competitive racing. I look forward to working with my colleagues to help ensure the RPM Act becomes law.” 

The Charlotte Motor Speedway is about 30 miles west of Albemarle, and last weekend, the track is hosted their first triple-header ever, the Coca-Cola 600, with races Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Restrictions on spectators have been lifted, so tens of thousands of fans were present over the long weekend.