New management organization announced

NHRA UNVEILS NEW SPORT COMPACT ORGANIZATION Ortega to Continue as Executive Director; Peterson Joins NHRA as General Manager GLENDORA, Calif. (May 12, 2005) -- NHRA announced, today, a new sport compact organization, designed to build upon the...

NHRA UNVEILS NEW SPORT COMPACT ORGANIZATION
Ortega to Continue as Executive Director; Peterson Joins NHRA as General Manager

GLENDORA, Calif. (May 12, 2005) -- NHRA announced, today, a new sport compact organization, designed to build upon the leadership position currently enjoyed by the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series.

As part of the new organization, Javier Ortega will continue to play a pivotal role in the overall strategic direction of NHRA's involvement in the sport compact drag racing scene encompassing all aspects of the business including marketing, promotions and racing. Ortega, whose knowledge of the sport compact industry is second to none, will serve as executive director providing senior-level counsel on NHRA's short- and long-term objectives and serve as a key advisor on the day-to-day operations.

"Javier has been instrumental in guiding NHRA's entry into the sport compact market and has helped us achieve significant growth and success," said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. "Javier will continue to provide valuable insight and leadership to NHRA's sport compact program." Moving forward, Ortega will report directly to Compton.

In addition, Joshua Peterson, who has extensive experience in the sport compact drag racing scene, has been named general manager of sport compact racing at NHRA.

Peterson's background includes extensive experience in mechanical engineering, race program and race team management and marketing. Before joining NHRA, Peterson was a product analyst for the Pontiac-GMC Division, and for three years before that, was program manager for General Motors Racing Division's front wheel drive drag racing program.

"We are excited to bring on board someone with Josh's business and technical knowledge, capabilities, and background to further enhance NHRA's position as the leader in the sport compact drag racing world," said Gary Darcy, senior vice president of marketing, NHRA. In his new position, Peterson will report directly to Darcy, with a reporting line to the senior director of technical services, Don Taylor.

Given his business and technical engineering background, Peterson is well-suited for the role as general manager of sport compact racing and, specifically, the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series. He has managed and administered an entire factory sport compact drag racing program and as a result, has an understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the sport compact drag racing environment.

In this newly-formed position, Peterson, who will be based in Glendora, Calif., will oversee day-to-day operations on the business and marketing side, as well as technical issues and competition. Peterson will manage relationships with all key audiences including the host tracks, sponsors, and racers and is charged with developing and implementing key strategic partnerships.

Peterson holds a bachelor's degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and is currently obtaining his master's degree in business administration.

Gary Raasch, director of sport compact marketing, will continue to work on sales and marketing initiatives. Raasch and Jim Skelly, director of competition, will report to Peterson.

"Javier's experience, strategic direction and knowledge of the industry, coupled with the addition of Josh handling day-to-day operations in Glendora, will provide more focus and enable NHRA to continue to grow our leadership position in the industry while taking advantage of new opportunities," said Darcy. "NHRA has a tremendous team in place that will help us achieve our long-term objectives for growth."

The NHRA is the premier sanctioning body for sport compact drag racing. It presents the 11-race, $2.1 million NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series at eight tracks across the country from April-October. The series features the largest guaranteed sport compact event purse of more than $27,000 paid out per event. In addition, the series offers a year-end championship fund of $144,000, along with more than $1.7 million in contingency payouts. The series is highlighted by its five championship classes (Pro RWD, Pro FWD, Modified, Turbo Magazine Hot Rod and Honda Tuning All Motor). In addition, and at all eight of the stand-alone NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series events, the NHRA Sony Xplod Stylefest will bring a compliment of the lifestyle and entertainment elements synonymous with today's sport compact scene. For more information, please visit nhrasportcompact.com.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

-nhra-

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