Auto Club Underwrites SCTA Exhibit at Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports
$10,000 Donation Assures Historic Display
POMONA Calif. (Nov. 14, 2006) -- The Automobile Club of Southern California has presented a gift to the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum to underwrite an exhibit honoring the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), an organization instrumental in dry lakes racing and world land speed record competition. The exhibit is slated for Nov., 2007, the 70th Anniversary of the organization's formation.
The check for $10,000, presented by Auto Club CEO Thomas V. McKernan, was accepted by NHRA Founder and Museum Chairman Wally Parks, who was surprised with the gift during ceremonies prior to the start of eliminations at the recent Auto Club NHRA Finals. Parks has been involved with SCTA since its inception on Nov. 29, 1937.
Parks was honored as Grand Marshal for the event at Auto Club Pomona Raceway. He joked that he didn't understand "what a grand marshal is supposed to do, but I'm ready to do it." He accepted a plaque noting his position as Grand Marshal and then McKernan and his staff brought up the large check. When McKernan explained the exhibit and the Auto Club's part, the 93-year-old Parks was visibly moved.
Parks was a founding member of the Road Runners, a car club he helped establish in 1937. Along with six other clubs, the Road Runners became Charter Members of the SCTA, organized to conduct speed trial events on the dry lakes of So. Calif. The Road Runners and The Sidewinders are the only original clubs still active. The first official speed trials were organized on May 15, 1938 at Muroc Dry Lake, now the home of Edwards Air Force Base. Parks went on to form the National Hot Rod Association in 1951. The SCTA went on to sanction land speed record attempts at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
The Auto Club, which is the presenting sponsor for the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, has steadily increased its participation with motorsports under the direction of McKernan and Manager of Motorsports Rick Lalor. The Club sponsors the Museum's NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway each October, the track in and event Pomona, top NHRA and NASCAR racers, the drag racing facility and events at California Speedway and the Museum's "Faster: Drag Racing Photos of the 60s" exhibit, currently on display.
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST. Current NHRA members are admitted free. Admission for non-members is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors 60 and older, $4 for juniors six through 15, and free for children under the age of five. Auto Club members receive discounts on admission and at the gift shop: show your card and save. The Museum is also available for private parties, meetings, corporate events, weddings and special group tours. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at Fairplex Gate 1, 1101 W. McKinley Ave. in Pomona. For further information on special exhibits, museum events or directions, call 909/622-2133 or visit museum.nhra.com.