Gliha’s background includes serving as Executive Vice President, Corporate Finance at Live Nation, a leading live entertainment company. Gliha has applied her business skills both at Live Nation and in investment banking, including her current position as Managing Director at Jefferies LLC where she focuses on media and entertainment companies.
Gliha graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Economics from Claremont McKenna College. She is very familiar with NHRA, its business and its events, including its historic facility and events in Pomona, CA.
“We are honored and excited that Lee Ann has agreed to join NHRA’s board of directors. We think her business experience and her love of the sport will help NHRA confidently stride forward and continue to grow,” said NHRA board chair and CEO Peter Clifford.
Steve Torrence, Robert Hight, Erica Enders, and Andrew Hines were crowned NHRA Mello Yello world champions in their respective classes during Monday night’s awards ceremony at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.
All four drivers were awarded checks and trophies to celebrate season-long achievements that culminated in winning 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championship titles during the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs.
Torrence captured his second consecutive Top Fuel world championship title after a thrilling weekend at the Auto Club NHRA Finals, taking home the title following the third round of eliminations at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. En route to the championship, Torrence raced to nine wins during the season, eight of which came during a nine race streak.
In the Funny Car class, Hight raced to his third world championship title. Hight clinched the championship in dramatic fashion during the final round at the Auto Club NHRA finals at Pomona after a thrilling half-track burnout. Hight raced to a career best six victories during the 2019 season, holding the points lead for 23 of 24 races on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series calendar.
Pronto Auto Service Centers, Head Contractors & Engineers to back NHRA Nitro Funny Car team
COLUMBUS, OH – The Head Racing Nitro Funny Car entry will be driven by Blake Alexander in 2020. Alexander and car owner/crew chief Jim Head will compete in 20 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with backing from Pronto Auto Service Centers and Head Contractors & Engineers.
“I enjoyed working with Jim when I drove his car in Bristol and I’m happy to say that we will be merging and beginning a business partnership,” Alexander said. “I am looking forward to a successful relationship with Jim and his group for many years to come. I really appreciate the Wilkersons’ kindness and dedication in helping a young race team flourish in 2019. Tim is someone that I look up to. Krista and him together are no doubt role models and people that I greatly respect. I look forward to seeing them, Daniel Wilkerson and my crew at the racetrack next season.”
Alexander, who was the NHRA’s youngest nitro team owner in 2019, will now combine his efforts with Head Racing. Head is an Indy winner in both Top Fuel and Funny Car and has been competing on NHRA’s tour since 1979.
HOLLYWOOD, CA — Austin Prock, driver of the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Top Fuel dragster for John Force Racing was named the Auto Club Road to the Future Award, NHRA’s Rookie of the Year Award, winner Monday night at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series awards banquet at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood.
“I am proud of the season this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team put together. My guys worked their asses off all season long to give me the opportunity to win the Auto Club Road the Future Award. I couldn’t have done it without them,” Prock said. “I would have never been here without John Force and Robert Hight. They gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and I owe the world to them. I hope I made them proud.”
Prock, son of three-time championship tuner for Robert Hight’s Auto Club Chevy Camaro SS, Jimmy Prock, made his NHRA Mello Yello professional debut at the 2019 NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and went onto race a full season in the Mello Yello Series.
Halfway through the tour, at the 16th race of 24, Prock earned his first NHRA professional victory at the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Seattle, sharing the winner’s circle alongside team owner and NHRA Legend John Force as he earned his milestone 150th career victory. He recorded a career best elapsed time of 3.688-seconds and speed of 334.40 mph in a first-round victory over veteran racer Doug Kalitta at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
POMONA, CA – For a third time, Erica Enders is a Pro Stock world champion. This one – claimed on Sunday during the NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona – was special, both in how Enders succeeded on this day in eliminations, and how the champ and her team have battled back from adversity the last three seasons.
In the end, Enders triumphed in a possible career-defining performance on Sunday against Greg Anderson, clinching a third championship at the Countdown to the Championship finale with her quarterfinal win over Chris McGaha.
On the top end and the championship official, Enders took a minute to pause in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. She gathered herself, exhaled and then the celebration was on.
“This one means a lot because of the valleys we’ve been through. It was a challenge for us and I’m thrilled. It’s just an awesome feeling to be back on top, and it’s the reason why you never give up,” Enders said.
“Today ended up being a great day with us locking up our third championship and my teammate, Jeg Coughlin, winning the race and solidifying the second position. For everyone at Elite Motorsports to take home the top two positions in NHRA Pro Stock, it’s a huge thrill for us. We take a lot of pride in what we do and it paid off this year. I’m just really proud.”
Pomona, CA – Dodge//SRT Mopar driver Jack Beckman closed the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season by racing the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) to his second victory of the season at the 55th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.
The win for Beckman, his 30th career Funny Car class victory, concluded a season where four drivers raced Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars to 11 wins in the 24-race NHRA campaign.
Beckman and fellow Dodge//SRT Mopar and DSR driver Matt Hagan made strong championship bids, but both came up short in the end. Beckman finished second and Hagan, winner of the two previous NHRA events, finished third in the final season standings.
“I’ve never won in Funny Car at Pomona,” said Beckman. “If you win at the Winternationals (in February), the rest of the year is going to be okay because you’ve already won something, but if you do it in the finals (at the end of the year), your off-season is fantastic. My Infinite Hero Foundation guys have given me such a great race car lately. I stumbled a couple of times, and I don’t want to ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ myself in the off-season. We finished solidly in second, capped off the year with a win. We have a phenomenal Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, and things are awesome right now. I’m feeling on top of the world.”
POMONA, CA – Doug Kalitta registered the quickest pass of the day to knock off teammate Richie Crampton to win an all-Toyota Top Fuel final at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Sunday. With the victory, Kalitta fell just three points short of the Top Fuel world championship.
In the first round, Kalitta never trailed against Terry McMillen, having an advantage at the tree and going on to the victory. Kalitta had a slight deficit at the tree in round tree, but rebounded quickly for the win over Justin Ashley. In the semifinals against Leah Pritchett, Kalitta had the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. In the finals, it was all Kalitta. He turned in the day’s best reaction time with a .037 light. Crampton was able to stay with him through the 60’ mark, but Kalitta pulled away by 330 feet and went on to lay down a 3.716-second pass, the quickest run of race day.
“I was real proud of the effort put in by this whole Mac Tools Toyota team today,” said Kalitta. “Our goal today was to get to the final and we did that. In qualifying, with Steve getting above us in Q4 to take a 63-point lead it put us down three rounds and that was tough to make up. We ended up just short, but we gave it all we could. Winning a championship is still on our bucket list. I love running here at Pomona and to come out of here with a win in the 60th year with Connie is amazing..”