Thomas V. McKernan, chairman of the board of the Automobile Club of Southern California, has assumed the role of board chairman of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California. McKernan succeeds NHRA founder Wally Parks’ longtime friend and So-Cal Speed Shop founder Alex Xydias, who will continue to be an active board member. McKernan has served as a board member since 2010.
“I am truly honored to be taking on this new role for the museum,” said McKernan. “This is a wonderful opportunity to ensure that we are meeting Wally Parks’ dream — to influence, collect, and interpret drag racing’s rich history for a diverse community.”
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California opened to the public in 1998 based on the vision to preserve the history of NHRA and America’s love affair with hot rods, speed records, and classic automobiles.
“We have a great board of directors, and I’m delighted to have McKernan assume the role as chairman,” said Xydias. “He has demonstrated a genuine commitment to the museum and passion for the sport. He is a tremendous asset for the museum.”
McKernan and the Auto Club have been tremendous supporters of the museum and the NHRA at all levels of the sport. In addition to its presenting sponsorship of the museum, the relationship includes naming rights for Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, entitlement rights of the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, entitlement of the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, entitlement of the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis, sponsorship of the Auto Club Road to the Future Award annually recognizing the sport’s Professional rookie of the year, and presenting sponsorships of the Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green, Ky., and the popular California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield.
In addition, Auto Club is the presenting sponsor of the NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA.