The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California announced today that board member Thomas V. McKernan, chairman of the board of the Automobile Club of Southern California, will assume the role of museum board chairman effective immediately. In this role, 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, Calif.

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.

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 the American culture. The museum collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets the vehicles, stories and artifacts that represent America's affection for, and the influence of, automotive speed and style in all its forms. The museum is the place to view and learn about hot rods, customs, racecars and speed records and the West Coast's role as the historic center for the past and present development of hot rodding. Log on to http://museum.nhra.com for more information.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by ProCare Rx. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.