Graham Light to Retire at End of 2018 Racing Season
After 34 years of dedicated service, Graham Light, NHRA’s senior vice president of racing operations, announced today that he will retire at the end of 2018. Light will continue to serve on NHRA’s Board of Directors and as a consultant to the sport.
Stepping up to fill Light’s role will be current NHRA vice president of racing administration Josh Peterson, whose role will expand; and former NHRA director of racing operations Ned Walliser, who will be named vice president of competition. Walliser will rejoin NHRA in May 2018 to work and train with Light. Current vice president of technical operations Glen Gray will round out the team.
Light joined NHRA in 1984 and progressed upwards in the organization, taking over all racing operations in 1993. His institutional knowledge and passion for drag racing are a mainstay in NHRA and the drag racing community. The Edmonton, Alberta, Canada native started out drag racing in Competition Eliminator before owning and operating a racetrack of his own.
“We can’t thank Graham enough for all he has done for the sport. We are fortunate that he has put in place a great team to support our racing operations when he begins his well-deserved retirement. With Josh Peterson heading up racing administration, Ned Walliser focusing on competition, and Glen Gray heading up technical services, we will still have the best team in all of motorsports,” said NHRA CEO Peter Clifford.
NHRA president Glen Cromwell continued, “With Graham able to personally coach Ned in his new role, and the rest of the team already up to speed, we’re confident that in 2019 we’ll be offering racing and team support that meets or exceeds the standards everyone has come to expect. We’re glad that Graham will still be available to consult with us and serve on our board while we have the strong team of Josh Peterson, Ned Walliser and Glen Gray to take over the reins. I look forward to working closely with all of them.”
Peterson, a mechanical engineer, joined NHRA in 2007 from General Motors, where he was involved in the company’s drag racing programs and other initiatives. Peterson has made great strides in racing administration and racer support, as well as representing NHRA with ACCUS/FIA.
Walliser began his career in racing event operations, including working in a broad operations capacity for Pace Entertainment (now Feld Entertainment Motorsports), before joining NHRA. Walliser was with NHRA from 1994-2000, first as Pacific division director and then as director of racing operations. Walliser returns to NHRA from his role as chief operating officer for MainGate, Inc. and serving on the board of SFI Foundation, Inc.
Gray, an electronic engineer, joined NHRA from Delphi Corp., where he was involved in the company’s motorsports activities and motorsports safety initiatives, among other things