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Movers & Shakers: NHRA Promotes Clifford to President; Garage Gurus Continues Expansion

Compiled by SEMA Editors

NHRA’s longtime executive vice president and general manager, Peter Clifford, has been promoted to NHRA president.

NHRA Announces Promotion of Peter Clifford to President Upon Retirement of Tom Compton

From the NHRA

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) has announced that Peter Clifford, the organization’s longtime executive vice president and general manager, has been promoted to president. Clifford succeeds Tom Compton, who announced his retirement from the NHRA following 15 years as president.

Dallas Gardner, chairman of the NHRA Board of Directors, made the announcement and introduced Clifford as president to NHRA employees assembled at the organization’s headquarters in Glendora, California.

“Peter Clifford will be an outstanding president of the NHRA,” Gardner said. “Peter’s faithful and effective service to all constituents of the NHRA family will ensure a spectacular new era for everyone who loves our sport, and he brings a passion for the NHRA that is unmistakable. Peter is most deserving of his new appointment, and we know he is more than up to the challenges and opportunities on the horizon.”

“I’m honored to accept the privilege and responsibility of leading the NHRA today and well into the future,” Clifford said. “I have an incredible passion for the sport and will bring a great work ethic to my new role, at or away from the track. My complete focus is to build our future. Our best stories are still to be told.”

As NHRA’s executive vice president and general manager, Clifford has had broad responsibilities across the entire organization. Clifford played a major role in the development and execution of NHRA’s strategic planning and the organization’s current growth initiatives. Clifford oversees NHRA’s owned racetracks and its relationships with its partner national event facilities and member tracks, publications, information technology, national event business, ticketing, customer service and human resources.

A member of the NHRA Board of Directors, Clifford also serves the organization as its chief financial officer. During his tenure with NHRA, Clifford has been the driving force behind the automation of systems within the company, including its IT functions, accounting and competition systems. He also has streamlined the business relationships between NHRA and its national event facilities.

Prior to joining NHRA in 1997 as vice president and chief financial officer, 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.

Gardner also thanked Compton for his years of service to the organization, which he joined in 1993 as vice president and chief financial officer.

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

“Tom was named president in 2000 and since then has advanced our organization and sport in ways that will provide lasting benefit for our teams, drivers, sponsors and fans. Just as important, the NHRA has an immensely bright future with exceptional opportunities that we are ready to explore. As the NHRA embarks on its next chapter, we wish Tom and his family all the best.”

“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.”

Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Route 66 Invitational to Be Held This Weekend

The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow’s (HROT) second-annual Route 66 Invitational will be held in Joliet, Illinois, July 10–12. This will be the last qualifying competition for the championships that take place at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, November 3–6, and 2015 PRI Show in Indianapolis, December 10–12. Visit the HROT website for a full schedule of events.

Red Kap has added Matt Harris of 40 Cal Customs as the second builder to its growing stable of Craftsmen.

Red Kap Signs Matt Harris to New Series: The Craftsmen

Red Kap has selected Matt Harris of 40 Cal Customs as the second builder to be added to the growing stable of Red Kap Craftsmen—a video series profiling custom builders who embody the brand’s core values of heritage, craftsmanship and passion. Short, high-energy videos will each showcase a different builder. Viewers will hear their unique stories while seeing the high-performance works of art that earn these Craftsmen a place among this elite group.

Harris first burst onto the custom bike scene when he appeared on Discovery Channel’s “BikerLive” TV show. He won the show’s viewer poll, marking his introduction into the ranks of elite custom bike builders. During California’s world-famous “Born Free” event, he made another strong impression when he won the first round of “Hot Bike” magazine’s Speed and Style Fabrication Showdown. Harris also took home the 2015 Firestone Award, presented by Coker Tire.

Harris was selected to be profiled in The Craftsmen series because he is a builder true to his craft, a devoted family man and a hardworking entrepreneur who is passionate about living the American dream. He hails from Alcoa, Tennessee. Red Kap will continue to add more Craftsmen to this program in the months ahead. Each will be chosen based on authentic character, style and commitment. The Craftsmen series of videos will roll out beginning in August 2015.

Federal-Mogul Motorparts has launched its Garage Gurus regional training centers to provide technicians with a comprehensive, technical education platform.

Garage Gurus Network Expanding to Four Additional U.S. Markets

Federal-Mogul Motorparts next week will expand its Garage Gurus technical education network with the grand openings of regional training centers in Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas/Fort Worth and Rancho Dominguez, California. The company, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp., launched the Garage Gurus network in April with training centers in Skokie, Illinois, Van Nuys, California, and the Bronx, New York.

Garage Gurus is a “Tech First” initiative designed to help repair professionals keep pace with the latest automotive technologies. Each Garage Gurus training center offers more than 100 courses taught by the company’s team of more than 100 ASE-certified “Gurus.” The network reaches thousands of additional repair professionals on the job through Web-connected “Gurus-On-The-Go” product technology vans. With the four grand openings next week, the Garage Gurus network will expand to seven major markets with combined reach to more than 45,000 automotive repair businesses. Eight additional Garage Gurus training centers are scheduled to open later this year.

ECS Tuning Announces Acquisition of Turner Motorsport

ECS Tuning LLC has announced the acquisition of Turner Motorsport LLC. ECS—a destination for European car enthusiasts—is distinguished by its proprietary products and parts catalog featuring more than 1.4 million SKUs for BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Porsche and Volkswagen. ESC hopes the addition of Turner Motorsport will make it a premier destination for BMW parts online and enable both companies to offer a broader selection of high-quality engineered solutions and enhancements for the BMW marketplace.

Will Turner, founder of Turner Motorsport, confirmed that the Turner Motorsport Racing team will remain unchanged, with ECS and Turner Motorsport continuing as primary sponsors. Based in Wadsworth, Ohio, ECS is owned by Bertram Capital, the company founders and management.

RxSpeed Launches RxSpeed for Business

RxSpeed has announced the launch of RxSpeed for Business and its flagship Brand Dashboard—a secure login for manufacturers to access their product and pricing information. This cloud-based solution was designed to help companies manage their digital catalog while monitoring their online retailers and pricing. Manufacturers currently list products free of charge on and now have the ability to view their complimentary dashboard by verifying their contact information.

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