Wally Parks NHRA Museum to host SAE seminar

SAE Educational Seminar Series Continues at Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Fish, Fiolka, Cal State Long Beach Mini Baja Team to Participate in Free Event POMONA Calif. (Nov. 17, 2006) ^SBaja 1000 organizer Sal Fish, off-road veteran...

SAE Educational Seminar Series Continues at Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum

Fish, Fiolka, Cal State Long Beach Mini Baja Team to Participate in Free Event

POMONA Calif. (Nov. 17, 2006) ^SBaja 1000 organizer Sal Fish, off-road veteran Marty Fiolka and the Cal State Long Beach Mini Baja Team will be among those featured at an educational seminar Dec. 2nd at 9:30 a.m. in the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California. The 1½-hour event is designed to help the next generation of automotive engineers break into the racing marketplace.

The panel discussion and networking meeting is the second in a series of events sponsored by the Southern Calif. Chapter of SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers ^S the premier society dedicated to advancing mobility engineering worldwide. Admission to the event and the Parks Museum is free for this event and others in the series.

Parks Museum executive director Tony Thacker said, "It has long been the dream of NHRA founder Wally Parks to have the Museum be a center for education. Wally also wants it to be a place where the motorsports industry can connect with young enthusiastic engineers, who perhaps don't know how to find their way into this exciting and rewarding business. These seminars do just that. They bring SoCal SAE students and indeed, anybody else who wants to attend, face-to-face with industry experts and legends who share their knowledge in an open forum."

Fish, 65, had been an executive at Petersen Publishing Company in 1973 when he was recruited by the late Mickey Thompson, soon after Thompson founded SCORE International. In late 1986 the team of Fish, president and then-chief financial officer Ted Johnson, acquired full ownership of the company long associated with Thompson. In reality, SCORE had been managed solely by Fish for many years before that.

Sal Fish sees desert racing as more than a sport. Ever the visionary, Fish views it as a way of life and has always applied the "greater good" philosophy to every aspect of SCORE International's role in desert racing.

Fiolka, currently editorial director of Advanstar and both Off Road Business and Dirtsports magazines, is a graduate of Cal. State Long Beach. He raced his first Baja 1000 in 1992. He's worked in media relations for Nissan, Infiniti, Exxon, Mitsubishi and SCORE International. He was the associate producer of Dust to Glory, Dana Brown's film on the Baja and he's the author of 1000 Miles to Glory.

California State University Long Beach's Mini Baja Team began operations in 1994. Last year, they entered Mini Baja West Competitions in Portland, Ore. and Washougal, Wash. where they placed 37th overall. The team ventured out on a three day competition against other well known university teams. In 2007, they expect to participate in an event in Rochester, N.Y. with two vehicles built by the College of Engineering. Mike Fritz is the team's faculty advisor.

Upcoming seminar topics include Hot Rods on Sat. Jan. 27, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. and Drag Racing on Sat. Feb. 17, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. Future topics will include Women in racing, Formula racing and Land speed racing. For more information on the series, visit http://socal.sae.org or http://museum.nhra.com.

The series' first event, on motorsports technology, featured Terry Vance of the very successful Vance & Hines team that runs in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series along with Sam Wheeler, who rode his Kawasaki- powered land speed racer to 355.303 mph on the salt at Bonneville.

"It was encouraging first effort," said SoCal SAE section chairperson Anna Phillips. "We been trying to build bridges between engineering students and the motorsports industry for some time and with the NHRA Museum on-board we were able to achieve our goal."

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.

-credit: museum.nhra.com.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Thacker