NHRA founder Wally Parks, dies at age 94

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NHRA founder Wally Parks, dies at age 94

Post by banditshideaway » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:49 am

Sourced from www.nhra.com

NHRA founder Wally Parks, patriarch of drag racing dies at age 94

Wally Parks, the driving force behind the formation of NHRA, has died at the age of 94. It was Parks' vision, goals and unconditional commitment to the need for speed and side-by-side racing in a safer, more controlled environment that created what is today the world's largest motorsports governing body.

"Today is a sad day in the world of NHRA and the sport of drag racing," said Tom Compton, president of NHRA. "Words simply can't describe the immeasurable impact Wally has had on the sport he created and the millions of people's lives he touched along the way. The name Wally Parks is synonymous with drag racing, and his vision and direction will guide NHRA for years to come. Everyone in drag racing, and the industries formed to service the sport, will forever be indebted to Wally, his vision, his focus and his desire to create, build and grow NHRA."

“Wally spent his lifetime doing what he loved,” said Dallas Gardner, chairman of the NHRA board of directors. “He marked the path and led the way for this incredible industry and the sport of drag racing. Wally was NHRA, and through his dream came a path to follow with lofty goals and ambition. He put the people in place and trusted in them. He has not abandoned us. He has left us with a road map that he knows will be followed.”

Parks, who founded NHRA in 1951, received countless awards in the motorsports world and played a pivotal role in the establishment of an entire industry devoted to speed and automotive aftermarket parts and accessories that today is a multibillion-dollar business. Yet Parks never implied that he did it all himself. His pride and joy, and where he spent most of his time in recent years while still serving on NHRA's board of directors, was The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California at Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.

If you get a chance go to the NHRA website as they have a special tribute page done for Wally Park www.nhra.com
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Post by banditshideaway » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:26 am

from www.andra.com.au

Australian Drag Racing Mourns The Loss Of Wally Parks

In Australia, as well as every other country in the world where drag racing is enjoyed by racers and fans, the passing of Wally Parks, the man recognised as the creator of the sport over 55 years ago, will be felt by many.

Parks founded the National Hot Rod Association, acknowledged today as the world’s largest single focus motor sport body, in 1951. The NHRA staged its first major drag racing event in a car park at Pomona, a suburb of Los Angeles in 1953. The 23 event NHRA championship now runs at cities all over the United States, but the season still opens and closes at Pomona.

One of the many tributes written in recent days said that Wally Parks took what every human being with a drivers licence has done and put us in our place. “When we gassed it at the anticipation of the green light on a public road, Wally knew better. He had a safer, saner piece of concrete for us to man-up – the drag strip”.

The NHRA slogan was “Dedicated to Safety” and the organisation initiated the Safety Safari to travel the country and spread the word about running the sport properly and doing it safely. This consisted of a station wagon towing a small caravan and a small group of enthusiastic officials. This was recognised at the 50th running of the NHRA US Nationals in 2004.

“There were many memorable displays and performances at that event,” said ANDRA CEO Tony Thornton, “but I think the procession with the original Safety Safari caravan leading the long line of NHRA semi trailers and other vehicles that now do the job, was as clear a demonstration of the Wally Parks dream as the 500 kilometre per hour Top Fuel passes or the many hundreds of competitors. I’m pleased to say that some of that dream has rubbed off on drag racers down-under and the sport is forever in his debt ”

Wally Parks was presented with the ANDRA Award of Merit in 1976. In conferring this award the National Control Council of ANDRA considers the beneficial effect of services rendered and the influence for good the candidate has exercised on the sport of drag racing and its progress and administration throughout Australia.

ANDRA mourns the passing of Wallace Gordon Parks and offers its sincere condolences to his sons David and Richard and their families, and all those in our sport who feel a sense of loss at this time.
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