Staff increased with new hires

IHRA Announces New Hires NORWALK, Ohio (May 22, 2006) -- The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), a Live Nation company, has announced hiring Joel Thompson as Division 1, 3 & 5 Director and Jon O'Neal as Kumho Street Warriorz Event ...

IHRA Announces New Hires

NORWALK, Ohio (May 22, 2006) -- The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), a Live Nation company, has announced hiring Joel Thompson as Division 1, 3 & 5 Director and Jon O'Neal as Kumho Street Warriorz Event Director.

As a division director, Thompson will serve as the liaison for IHRA member tracks. He'll also coordinate and run that division's Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Series events.

"We've recognized the need for dedicated people to help implement our race programs and develop our family of tracks. Joel will make a great addition to IHRA and our competition department," said IHRA Vice President of Race Operations Skooter Peaco. "He did an excellent job at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park and has the job experience to serve the needs and grow divisions 1, 3 and 5."

Thompson, of Otsego, Mich., joins the company's competition department after four years as assistant general manager/race director at IHRA-sanctioned U.S. 131 Motorsports Park, the home of the Torco Race Fuels Northern Nationals, August 4 -- 6, 2006. Prior to that, he was an assistant vice president for Fifth Third Bank and since 1993, has served as Mayor of the city of Otsego.

O'Neal joins the company as Event Director for the Kumho Street Warriorz presented by Hooters, a series of street legal racing and lifestyle events. His primary duty will be managing and growing all Street Warriorz events.

"Jon's knowledge of the specialized demographic participating in our Kumho Street Warriorz events will help us further develop this successful series," said IHRA Vice President of Marketing Jim Marchyshyn. "He has the personality and understanding of what makes the street racing scene work at a drag strip, as well as a strong commitment and interest in the aftermarket and customization industry."

O'Neal, of Akron, Ohio, is a graduate of the University of Akron, where he majored in journalism, studied photography, design and video, and served as editor of the college's newspaper, The Buchtelite. He's had a lifelong interest in import and sport compact racing, and customizing vehicles.

-ihra

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