NHRA Announces Peter Clifford as New President

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New NHRA President Peter Clifford. Photo: Courtesy NHRA

In a major shift in management, Tom Compton resigned his position as President of the National Hot Rod Association to be replaced by Peter Clifford.

Clifford moves up from executive vice president and general manager to become the organization’s fourth leader in the role.

Compton had been with the NHRA for 22 years, starting in 1993 under then-president Dallas Gardner, and was promoted to President on January 1, 2000.

“Today the NHRA announces Tom Compton’s retirement,” said Gardner, who is currently serving as NHRA Chairman of the Board.  “The NHRA thanks Tom for leading it during 15 years of progress, growth and success.”

Compton was gracious in his exit statement, expressing appreciation for his time with the drag racing organization.

“This decision comes after much thought and careful consideration of my own interests, those of my family and those of the NHRA itself,” Compton said.  “The more than 22 years I spent helping to build the great team, strong partnerships and robust operations the NHRA now enjoys make this decision a difficult one.”

“I want to thank everyone, including the NHRA, its partners, sponsors, track owners and operators, and all other NHRA-affiliated individuals and organizations for their generous and much-appreciated contributions to the success we’ve all enjoyed together.  I am honored to have been an integral part of this collective effort, am proud of our collaboration and achievements, and am confident in the continued success of the NHRA in the years ahead.”

Prior to joining NHRA in 1997 as vice president and chief financial officer, Peter Clifford worked in finance and business planning with Hewlett-Packard, TNT Express Worldwide and Emcom.  Clifford received his bachelor’s degree in economics from University of California, Los Angeles, and holds a master’s of business administration in finance from the University of Southern California.

In upcoming weeks, Clifford indicated that announcements are forthcoming and that a plan to improve the sport overall is in the works.

In a media conference call earlier today, Clifford discussed that his first motion will be to improve television coverage, following that with an effort to increase Sportsman participation and support member tracks.  He also stressed a focus on marketing-sponsorship partnerships to add additional resources to that area, and expanding media coverage to better recognize the sport. Finally, he emphasized the importance of focusing on competition at national events and encouraging ‘New Fan’ development to increase participation and the NHRA fan base, presumably with programs like this year’s Baptism By Nitro effort.

We wish Clifford the best of luck in this new position.

About Jay Wells 321 Articles
Jay Wells, 61, is a veteran motorsports public relations and marketing official. He spent 33 years at the track working with NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA, and NHRA series' before retiring in 2009. He began writing for RacingJunk.com in September of 2013 covering the NHRA and NASCAR circuits with post race coverage along with feature and breaking news stories. Wells resides in Mooresville, North Carolina. Follow Wells on Twitter @ jaywells500.

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