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Sale of NHRA is scrapped

February 01, 2008|Greg Johnson | Times Staff Writer

The National Hot Rod Assn.'s planned sale of its professional racing series was derailed on Thursday when shareholders of a Santa Monica company voted not to complete the $121-million deal.

The proposed sale, which NHRA founder Wally Parks blessed months before his death in October 2007, would have transferred the Powerade Drag Racing Series, NHRA's Pomona headquarters building and other assets to HD Partners Acquisition Corp. The nonprofit NHRA would have used proceeds from the sale to fund amateur drag racing activities around the country.

HD Partners, which plans to liquidate itself and return remaining cash to its shareholders, blamed the deal's collapse on unsettled financial markets "which we believe adversely impacted the final outcome of this transaction," HD Partners Chairman Eddy Hartenstein said in a statement.

NHRA President Tom Compton said that drag racing would continue as planned this season, beginning with the Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals that start Feb. 7 at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. "NHRA is in the best financial position in its history and prospects for future growth are at an all-time high," Compton said.

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greg.johnson@latimes.com

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