Speed for All

NHRA Careers

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About Us

Since it was founded by Wally Parks in 1951, NHRA has been dedicated to safety while providing millions of racing fans with the fastest and most spectacular form of entertainment on wheels. Parks initially started NHRA as a means of getting hot-rodders off the streets and onto legal drag strips. Since those early days, NHRA has evolved into the largest promoter of professional drag racing in the world.

Keeping with Parks’ original philosophy, the NHRA will continue to guide the sport, assuring that safety and technological improvements remain a top priority. Progressive changes will help the NHRA continue to fulfill its leadership role in the motorsports world well into the future.

While the grassroots racing organization has come a long way in its 70-plus years of operation, some things will never change. It’s easy to see why racers and fans are so committed to NHRA Championship Drag Racing.

Organized drag racing

In 1947, Parks, a military tank test-driver for General Motors who served in the army in the South Pacific in World War II, helped organize the Southern California Timing Association and later became its general manager.

The first SCTA "Speed Week," held at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in 1949, was the result of a diligent effort of Parks, then its executive secretary. It was here that racers first began running "against the clock" - actually, a stopwatch - coaxing their vehicles to accelerate quicker rather than simply to attain high top speeds.

NHRA's first races

The first dragstrip, the Santa Ana Drags, began running on an airfield in Southern California in 1950 and quickly gained popularity among the Muroc crowd because of its revolutionary computerized speed clocks.

When Parks became editor of the monthly enthusiast magazine Hot Rod, he had the forum and the power to form the National Hot Rod Association in 1951 to "create order from chaos" by instituting safety rules and performance standards that helped legitimize the sport. He was its first president.

NHRA held its first official race in April 1953 on a slice of the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds parking lot in Pomona, Calif. Four decades later, that track has undergone a $6-million expansion and renovation and hosts the NHRA season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals and the season finale, the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.

In 1955, NHRA staged its first national event, called simply "the Nationals" in Great Bend, Kan. Six years later, as the Nationals hopscotched around the country to showcase the growing sport before settling in Indianapolis in 1961, the Winternationals became NHRA's second event.

Our History

The aggressive upgrading of facilities to stadium quality, with fan amenities, VIP towers, and tall grandstands, was the passion of NHRA President Dallas Gardner, who took the reins in 1984 when Parks became board chairman.

Incredible success and growth

With 50,000 members and more than 35,000 licensed competitors, NHRA is a thriving leader in the world of motorsports. Parks, who died in 2007 at the age of 94, initially started NHRA as a means of getting hot rodders off the streets and on to legal drag strips. Since those early days, NHRA has evolved into the largest promoter of professional drag racing in the world. Today, with more than 200 dedicated employees, NHRA offers drag racing opportunities for hot rod enthusiasts of all levels, from youth ages 5 to 17 in the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League all the way up to the top of the professional ranks with the NHRACamping World Drag Racing Series.

While Top Fuel dragsters routinely cover the race distance at more than 330 mph, NHRA is moving just as fast in popularity with auto racing fans. Second only to NASCAR in terms of attendance, fan appeal, television ratings and sponsorship commitment among the major motorsports organizations, NHRA is moving quickly into mainstream America.

There are 120 member tracks across North America that host NHRA competitions each week in NHRA's seven geographic regions. In addition to the marquee Camping World Series, which crisscrosses the U.S., making 24 stops in 21 cities in 10 months, NHRA offers popular weekly grassroots programs at many of its member tracks. One of the most popular is the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style, which offers anyone with a car, driver's license, helmet, and auto insurance the opportunity to compete in grudge-match style drag racing. Serious weekend warriors can compete each weekend at their local track in the NHRA Summit Racing Series, which crowns national champions each season. The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series provides a developmental series for those who are interested in a career as a touring pro. And the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series features some of the nation's wildest doorslammer race cars covering the drag strip at speeds approaching 250 mph.


Glen Cromwell headshot

A message from our President

“Fast Paced.” It’s the label every employer uses to describe its environment. But at the NHRA, that pace is more than 300 miles per hour. It’s a pace sustained by the people who make this association speed along and requires new talent, new ideas, and new commitment to bring SPEED FOR ALL to our racers, members, tracks and fans. We look forward to you joining our team!

— President Glen Cromwell

Community Impact


The NHRA Youth & Education Services (YES) Program was founded in 1989. It is the only full-time education program in motorsports that provides quality programs and activities for schools and youth organizations nationwide. Not only is the YES Program FREE, it focuses on the importance of goals and continued education, while allowing students to learn about and explore various career opportunities. The program will show students how S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is applied to both, real world situations and NHRA Drag Racing, which they will have the opportunity to see live at the track!

Headshot of Evan Jonat

Evan Jonat

VP of Live Events
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John Badilla

Sr. Marketing Manager, Launch Motorsports Careers
Women and Minorities Competing and Winning at the Highest Level - 9 Winning Drivers in 2021


NHRA Launch — Motorsports Careers' mission is to provide career opportunities to those with a passion for motorsports. Formed through a collaboration between the Vance Family Foundation and the National Hot Rod Association, NHRA Launch — Motorsports Careers will facilitate connections between passionate individuals and companies within the motorsports industry for FREE.

Working closely with NHRA to develop the program behind the scenes over the past year, Pro Stock Motorcycle legend Terry Vance envisions NHRA Launch — Motorsports Careers as the starting point for the next generation of motorsports and automotive professionals. "Look at Robert Hight [Funny Car champion] and Mike Neff [Funny Car crew chief] and all the guys that have come through the sport that had to know somebody in order to make it happen. If you don't know anybody, you're kind of out. I know what that feels like, and it is a lousy place to be. I want NHRA Launch — Motorsports Careers to help kids not feel that way."

The Vance Family Foundation's $1 million contribution fully funds the program through its startup and rollout, which provides NHRA's dedicated staff the resources necessary to facilitate connections between job seekers and employers within the industry.

Benefits of the Organization

Three women sitting at an NHRA outside booth A view of hte inside of the NHRA offices with employees working at cubicles A celebratory office party at NHRA with people sitting at tables decorated with balloons. Two women employees standing on a racetrack at the Pomona Dragstrip
Speed for All

NHRA Careers

View all Open Positions