NHRA names new vice presidents
Reprinted from the Jan. 22, 1982 issue of National DRAGSTER
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Wally Parks, President of the National Hot Rod Association, announced three major changes in the executive structure of drag racing's largest sanctioning body this week.
Longtime NHRA officials Bernie Partridge, Steve Gibbs, and Carl Olson have been elevated to Vice President positions, effective January 1, 1982. Partridge will be vice president of Field Operations, Gibbs vice president of Competition and Olson vice president of Industry Relations and Safety.
All three will continue to report directly to Executive Vice President and General Manager Dallas Gardner at NHRA's North Hollywood, Calif., headquarters, and maintain their active roles in conducting the business of NHRA's Winston World Championship Series of national and divisional events.
"When you consider that this trio has a combined tenure of 37 years with NHRA and more than 60 years of total involvement in the sport of drag racing, their being named to vice president posts seems more than just appropriate," stated Parks. They have played an active role in operating every facet of NHRA drag racing, and have total respect throughout the entire industry."
Partridge, 47, first joined NHRA in 1958 as chief announcer at NHRA national events after enjoying a drag racing career of his own in the 1950s. He became a full-time NHRA official in 1962, heading up the association's Southwest Division until 1979 when he was named Western Region Director, with direct responsibility for NHRA racing in 23 states. Partridge will continue his most recent duties of overseeing NHRA's entire field staff of Division Directors and Technical Directors.
Gibbs, 41, signed on with the National Hot Rod Association in 1969 after a career of management duties at several leading racetracks in California and Texas. He was named NHRA Competition Director in 1973, and has been responsible for conducting NHRA national events as Event Director since that time. Gibbs also is the NHRA liaison between the association and its more than 3,000 National event competitors.
Olson, 38, joined NHRA in 1976 as Industry Relations Director, heading up the entire NHRA Awards Department. His background in drag racing includes being a former Top Fuel Eliminator Champion, general manager of two different high performance companies and Technical and Legislative Director of the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA). Olson will continue to oversee NHRA's multi-million dollar Awards Department as well as heading up NHRA's legislative and safety divisions.