POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 3, 2005) – In a landmark announcement encompassing many facets of NHRA, the Automobile Club of Southern California and NHRA announced a multi-year relationship, beginning in 2006, highlighted by naming rights to historic Pomona Raceway and presenting sponsorship of the NHRA Safety Safari and NHRA Street Legal Program.
“We are extremely proud of our association with the Automobile Club of Southern California,” said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. “The Auto Club shares the values that NHRA stands for and, through this relationship, has clearly demonstrated its commitment to NHRA Drag Racing.”
The Automobile Club of Southern California also extended its entitlement rights of the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals held at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona; sponsorship of the Auto Club “Road to the Future” award annually recognizing the sport’s professional rookie of the year; presenting sponsorship of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum; and presenting sponsorship of the popular California Hot Rod Reunion held at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif.
“Pomona is hallowed ground to all drag racing enthusiasts, and through our expanded partnership with NHRA, we celebrate the track’s heritage while strengthening its reputation as one of the finest motorsports facilities in the country,” said Tom McKernan, Auto Club president and CEO. “As the nation’s largest AAA affiliate, the Auto Club places a premium on safety and responsible driving. Accordingly, we are pleased to link the AAA name to both the NHRA Safety Safari and its Street Legal Program that encourages and motivates enthusiasts of all ages to always race responsibly on organized drag strips and never on the street.”
Historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona is one of the oldest standing and active drag strips in the United States, and this agreement represents the first time in its history that NHRA has sold track entitlement to one of its owned and operated facilities. The track sponsorship gives signage rights for the Automobile Club of Southern California throughout the facility, as well as presenting sponsorship of the Top Eliminator Club for each of the two national events that NHRA conducts at the raceway. As part of the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona agreement, the Automobile Club of Southern California will secure naming rights of a second big screen display to be located near the starting line grandstands for premium customers in the Top Eliminator Club adjacent to the track.
Few could argue what seems a perfect marriage between the Automobile Club of Southern California and NHRA in relationship to Auto Club’s presenting sponsorship of two legendary components of NHRA’s business: The NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA and the NHRA Street Legal Program presented by AAA. Both are well-suited given the mission of the two organizations.
The NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA, has been an icon of the sport since its inception in the early 1950s. The NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA is the first and finest full-time team devoted to safety and is recognized as one of the most sophisticated and efficient safety crews in North American motorsports, coming to the aid of NHRA’s competitors at NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national events across the country.
The NHRA Street Legal program presented by AAA, is designed to foster safe, responsible driving by encouraging people to race on the drag strip and not on the street. NHRA founder Wally Parks began working with law enforcement agencies in the early 1950s to attract illegal street racers onto dry lakes and abandoned runways where more organized competition could be staged. Today, the basic initiative remains NHRA’s primary mission. Given the scope of today’s illegal street racing problem, NHRA is even more committed to providing safer rac