McKernan, McClelland named to NHRA Museum board
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Automobile Club of Southern California CEO Tom McKernan and legendary NHRA voice Dave McClelland have been named to the board of directors of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California.  

“These two iconic names in the sport of NHRA Drag Racing will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in driving the mission of the museum, as set forth by our founder Wally Parks, to celebrate the impact of motorsports on our culture,” said Alex Xydias, chairman of the seven-person board. Tony Thacker serves as the museum’s executive director.

McKernan has been a huge supporter of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, both personally and professionally, forging the deal that brought on the Automobile Club of Southern California as presenting sponsor in 2004. His love for all of motorsports, and drag racing specifically, make him well-suited to serve on the board and lead the museum for future success and growth. McKernan serves on the board of the California State Chamber of Commerce and was board chair in 1997. He is also on the board and past chair of the California Business Roundtable. He is chair of the Orange County Performing Arts Center and serves on the boards of Payden & Rygel Investment Group and Forest Lawn Memorial Parks Association.

“I am honored to join the NHRA Museum board. NHRA and drag racing have a long and storied history at the center of the evolution of this truly American sport,” said McKernan. “The NHRA supports preserving the knowledge and heritage of this uniquely genuine motorsport. Wally Parks’ dream was to have a museum that chronicles the history of drag racing and to share it with as many people as possible. The board of the Wally Parks’ Museum and the NHRA have done a tremendous job, and I hope to be able to help continue the growth and value of the Museum.”

McClelland, known throughout the motorsports world as the voice of NHRA, joins the Museum board after a lifetime of involvement in broadcasting and drag racing.  McClelland began his career in drag racing in 1955, and by 1961, he was involved full time, doing everything from the weather to race announcing, and by the late 1960s was working at all of NHRA’s national events. He later worked as general manager of Dallas Int'l Motor Speedway and at NHRA itself in the Promotion and Public Relations Department. Today, McClelland is often at the Museum serving as master of ceremonies for many of the Museum functions throughout the year.

"I am humbled and honored at the opportunity to serve on the board of directors of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum,” said McClelland. “Ever since Wally conceived the idea, I have been closely involved with the growth and expansion of one of this country's outstanding motorsports museums.”

McKernan and McClelland join Xydias, Peter Clifford, Gary Darcy, Steve Gibbs, and Wayne McMurtry on the board of directors.

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, long a dream of Parks, opened to the public April 4, 1998. Housed in a 28,500-square-foot building on the edge of the historic Los Angeles County Fairplex, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum's mission is to celebrate the impact of motorsports on our culture.

The museum is open year-round, Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day), features an impressive array of vintage and historical racing vehicles along with photographs, trophies, helmets, and driving uniforms, artifacts, paintings, and other memorabilia chronicling more than 50 years of American motorsports. A gift shop offers a wide variety of souvenir items. Visit the Museum online gift shop at

Current NHRA members are admitted free. Admission for nonmembers is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 60 and older, $6 for juniors 6 through 15, and free for children under the age of 5. Auto Club discounts are offered. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is at Fairplex Gate 1, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., in Pomona. For information, log on to or call 909-622-2133.