GLENDORA, CA – May 23, 2018 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – NHRA announced today additions to its leadership team, expanding its strength and scope in race operations and marketing.
In racing operations, Ned Walliser rejoins NHRA, now as vice president of competition. Walliser previously worked with NHRA from 1994-2000, first as Pacific division director and then as director of racing operations. Walliser returns to NHRA from his role as chief operating officer for MainGate, Inc. and serving on the board of SFI Foundation, Inc. He began his career in racing event operations, including working in a broad operations capacity for Pace Entertainment (now Feld Entertainment Motorsports).
“I’m really looking forward to rejoining the NHRA team,” said Walliser. “The company is headed in an exciting direction and I can’t wait to start interacting with racers across all categories.”
Expanding its strength and scope in marketing, Jeffrey Young is joining NHRA as vice president of marketing and communications. Additionally, Kristen Wentzell has been promoted to vice president of national event marketing and Evan Jonat has been promoted to vice president of live event marketing.
Young joins NHRA from the Professional Bull Riders Association, where he spent eight years, most recently as regional vice president since 2015. Young will oversee all NHRA marketing initiatives. At PBR, Young was responsible for executing and evaluating all aspects of live event marketing and revenue including the PBR World Finals.
“It’s an honor to be joining the NHRA team,” Young said. “I look forward to working alongside the dedicated staff, partners, and venues to help further the already tremendous growth of NHRA drag racing. The steadfast fans combined with elevated marketing will continue the success of this innovative sport and I look forward to being able to contribute to that.”
Wentzell has been with NHRA since 2012 as director of advertising and promotions where her primary focus has been driving awareness of and attendance at the organization’s premier NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events. In 2017, she was promoted to senior director of marketing, and has handled social media and digital marketing, as well as ticketing and membership.
“I grew up watching NHRA drag racing and it’s been such an honor to be a part of the organization’s success,” said Wentzell. “I look forward to joining the leadership team and working with our drivers, crews, partners, tracks, and fans to take NHRA drag racing to new heights. We are poised for innovation and I’m excited to continue our positive momentum.”
Jonat has been with NHRA for the past 12 years, most recently as senior director of national event marketing. Jonat’s focus is on enhancing the fan experience at NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing events, and delivering, or overdelivering, on sponsor commitments, through his marketing services team. Jonat also interfaces with NHRA’s in-venue production and broadcast teams, including responsibility for on-track announcers.
“There’s nothing like NHRA drag racing and I’m proud of to be a part of it,” said Jonat. “We have a strong leadership team who are dedicated to continuing to propel the sport forward. It’s an exciting time for the organization and I’m looking forward to contributing to its continued success.”
“We are excited about the strength of NHRA’s leadership team as we prepare for even more growth,” said Glen Cromwell, NHRA president. “Ned, Jeffrey, Kristen, and Evan will be positive additions to our leadership group and our entire team will benefit from their expertise and commitment to NHRA.”
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. 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 NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; 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.
Source: National Hot Rod Association