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CORONA, California (April 2, 2014) – E3 Spark Plugs have been involved in motor sports for over seven years as a charter member of Team Lucas, but doesn't have a plug on the market that's specifically made for racing.

That sounds contradictory. It isn't. Instead, it's an insight into a young company that believes getting it done right is more important than getting it done fast. That's why there was a willingness to spend an extra two years on research and development and then to delay entering the marketplace for another 18 months while the country recovered from the horrific events of September 11, 2001.

"We're just now developing our racing line of products," E3 vice-president of marketing Steve Joiner said of the Florida-based company that introduced its product to consumers in late 2003 and hopes to have the racing line on the market later this year.

"We've always tried to position the company as a premium OE (original equipment) replacement plug to run in your high-compression street Corvette or your mini-van. We really were not trying to position ourselves to be a performance plug specifically; our goal was and still is today to be a premium OE replacement plug with performance benefits.

"Really it was all about trying to make the part the spark plug is involved in the combustion process as efficient as possible."

That was the objective when the company was formed in 1997 and began doing research and development, first in-house and then with engineers at Georgia Tech. The result was not a simple modification to the familiar J-wire spark plug that had been in use for almost a century, it was the E3 plug with DiamondFire technology that produces more complete combustion, more power and greater fuel efficiency.

Joiner said E3 – Energy, Efficiency, Ecology – was getting ready to begin developing the brand in 1999, but detoured when the engineers at Georgia Tech suggested the company might want to work with a group at Michigan State that was doing studies for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on small engine emissions.

The testing was being done because "a lawn mower pollutes more in an hour than your car does in a day," Joiner said. E3 was involved for over two years, earning recognition from the EPA and providing data that led to new emission standards. Then the company was ready to go to market again and 9-11 intervened. So the company spent about 18 months setting up manufacturing, logistics and brand development and began selling to the public in late 2003, first with plugs for lawn and garden equipment and in 2005 for the automotive aftermarket.

After that, obviously, it became necessary to promote the company, and that led to the decision to join Team Lucas for the 2007 season. Joiner said it was "a major commitment because it just about sucked up all the air in the marketing budget at that time," but the company never has regretted making it thanks to Team Lucas's diverse approach.

"We've grown our relationship multiple times over these past six or seven years," Joiner said of E3, which will be the title sponsor of the Lucas Oil Modified's E3 Spark Plugs 75 Laps to Victory presented by General Tire April 19 at Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway in Blythe, California, and presenting sponsor for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series' Rockstar Energy Southern California Shootout presented by E3 Spark Plugs April 25-26 at Lake Elsinore (California) Motorsports Park.

"We feel the whole Team Lucas package brings a lot of value to us and we enjoy being a part of the grass roots racing community," Joiner said. "It (initially) gave us an opportunity to reach into a very broad-based marketing segment. Even though it was all racing, between the different series it really touched different audiences. It gave us the opportunity to be involved with hundreds of venues and actual events and of course there is a fairly extensive television package.

"The fact it is a pretty comprehensive marketing package was really the impetus for the move. But it also allowed us to talk in a grass roots way to what we felt would be a great core customer base. So it was twofold or maybe even threefold, talking to an audience we felt would be a strong one for our product as well as supporting racing at a grass roots level. That allowed us to kind of insert ourselves into that world and learn it with a big brother holding our hand a little bit as we were trying to figure out what made sense."

E3 doesn't need its hand held any more. It now is the official spark plug of NHRA, where it is working with several of the Top Fuel teams to develop its racing products, and is marketing in Canada and beyond. But the company still values its association with big brother.

"We're probably a bit more varied than we were in 2007 and 2008, but Team Lucas is still the core that everything kind of builds from," Joiner said.

What is Team Lucas? It's an entertainment package for race fans across the country and a dynamic advertising and marketing medium for company's everywhere. Team Lucas showcases the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling Series, Lucas Oil Modified Series Presented by Loan Mart, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing presented by GEICO Powersports, Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series, Lucas Oil Speedway, Lucas Oil Production Studios, and yes, a presence in the the Indianapolis Colts Lucas Oil Stadium. In short, the most well rounded, action packed entertainment package ever offered. These Team Lucas entities represent over 300 annual live events, trumping that statistic is our 350 plus hours of prime time programming on national and international levels, orchestrated by Executive Vice-President Bob Patison. All this adds up to enough adrenaline to stop your heart and then jump start it again! Team Lucas is a full circle grass roots marketing powerhouse designed to entertain the audience and perform for its partners! For more information please visit www.e3sparkplugs.com or www.LucasOil.com.