Warren and Kurt Johnson Comment on the Passing of Wally Parks Sugar Hill, Ga., September 30, 2007 - NHRA Pro Stock racers Warren and Kurt Johnson offered the following thoughts on NHRA founder Wally Parks, who passed away on Friday night at the...
Warren and Kurt Johnson Comment on the Passing of Wally Parks
Sugar Hill, Ga., September 30, 2007 - NHRA Pro Stock racers Warren and Kurt Johnson offered the following thoughts on NHRA founder Wally Parks, who passed away on Friday night at the age of 94:
"Given Wally's age, we knew this day would eventually come, but we certainly didn't want to see it, and it does not diminish the tremendous loss we have all suffered," said Warren. "Naturally, our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time. Wally Parks was a true visionary in the world of motorsports, ranking right up there with Bill France Sr. (founder of NASCAR). Wally took his passion for motorsports and basically founded the industry of drag racing.
"His original concept was to use organized drag racing to get kids off the street and on the track where they would be safer. From that commendable start, it grew into the truly American sport that today you see on display across the country and the world. Through it all, his passion never wavered. Even in his later years he would come out to the track whenever he could, including earlier this year in Pomona. Any of us who have been fortunate enough to earn a living in this arena will always owe a debt of gratitude to Wally Parks. It was an honor to have known him, and we're certainly going to miss him."
"Fifty-six years ago, Wally Parks had a vision of giving kids a safe place to race, getting them off the streets and into organized competition," added Kurt. "You have to honor the fact that he took that vision and ran with it, giving birth to the sport of drag racing. Without Wally Parks' dedication and hard work, there would not have been a National Hot Rod Association as we know it today, and for what he did, I am extremely grateful. It's a sad day in the world of motorsports, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."