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Wed, 5 Sep 2007, 07:58 AM

NHRA Founder Wally Parks and Late Wife Barbara to be Honored
Courtesy of NHRA Communications

With Lifetime Achievement Award at Route 66 Rendezvous

GLENDORA, Calif. -- When more than 500,000 car enthusiasts roll into San Bernardino for the 18th annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous, it'll be only natural to think of Wally and Barbara Parks. After all, Wally founded NHRA - now the governing body of the world's largest motorsport - and the two nurtured the sport together, making drag racing one of the most popular spectator sports in the country today.

For that reason and many others, Wally Parks and his late wife will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cruisin' Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Brunch presented by The Gas Company, at 9:30 a.m. on September 15 at the Hilton Hotel San Bernardino, 285 East Hospitality Lane, San Bernardino, Calif.

Accepting the award on the couple's behalf will be Dick Wells, member, Board of Directors, NHRA.

"I am particularly pleased (to receive this honor), as it was in following the planned route of 66, in the 1920s, that I came to California from Kansas with my parents, in a Model-T Ford," Wally Parks said. "I have always had an affection for Route 66 since then - that and the fact that our NHRA headquarters are within a stone's throw of 66, and our National Dragster publication's offices are right on it. I am proud to accept this Lifetime Achievement award at such an important venue for true automotive enthusiasts."

Those who will be inducted into the 2007 class of the Hall of Fame include Sam and Chip Foose, the award-winning father-son automotive design pair, automotive products manufacturer K&N Engineering, Inc., a long-time supporter of NHRA, DRIVE! Magazine, and the art of Pinstriping, the unique technique used to customize hot rods.

"The Route 66 Rendezvous is honored to recognize Mr. Wally Parks and his late wife, Barbara, for their numerous contributions to the hot rodding and automotive industries," said Jo Ann Webb, director of Corporate Relations, San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau, Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous. "Hot rod enthusiasts owe a huge debt of gratitude to Wally Parks for re-organizing the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), writing about the hot rodding hobby and building the NHRA from the ground up."

The Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous September 13-16 is the largest cruisin' classic car show on the West Coast and largest celebration of the historic Route 66 highway. The Route 66 Rendezvous live entertainment, vendors, legendary guests, car contests and commercial exhibitors transform the 35 blocks of downtown San Bernardino into an automotive paradise. More than 1,900 classic hot rods and custom vehicles from North America on display will draw more than 500,000 spectators to the area, generating $44 million for the local economy.

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