LAS VEGAS – Don Clark of Ripon, Calif., was selected by NAPA’s Western Region to be the Honorary Pit Crew Member for Sunday’s running of the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Clark was joined by his wife Christy to participate in NAPA’s new program for valued customers and clients at select NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
“This has been an unbelievable experience,” said Clark. “I have really enjoyed this. The organization, the hospitality experience, the friendliness of everyone associated with the team and Michael Waltrip have made this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I really enjoyed watching all the pre-race activities. I liked seeing all the fans, the pits, the cars, and all the drivers so I’ve really enjoyed being at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This has been wonderful.”
Clark, who has been involved in the automotive aftermarket for almost 22 years is the director of sales for Torco Race Fuels. He is also the owner of several small auto repair shops in Phoenix, Ariz. He sees sponsorships in motorsports to be a key way to promote brands since his customers make up a large part of NASCAR’s fan base. He has attended hundreds of NHRA events, but Sunday’s Shelby 427 was the first time he had ever attended a NASCAR race.
“The scale of this spectacle is just unbelievable,” added Clark. “There is nothing like NASCAR. NASCAR to me is a lot less hectic to me in the pits in comparison to the NHRA. I find NASCAR to be a lot more laid back. The teams are so organized.”
The Clarks enjoyed the NAPA Race Day Experience where Don was presented with autographed NAPA AUTO PARTS crew shirt and hat from driver Michael Waltrip. Then the Clarks were escorted down to the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage where they toured the NAPA team’s hauler, ate lunch with the team and participated in driver introductions. They were even introduced to Waltrip’s celebrity guests who also were in attendance -- comedian Ron White, Jay McGraw, author, television producer and son of Dr. Phil McGraw and his wife Erica Dahm. The Clarks had plenty of photo opportunities. But their most cherished picture was the one taken with Waltrip by the decal that honored Clark located on the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry.
“This is just amazing,” added Don’s wife Christy. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I am having so much fun.”
This season at NASCAR Sprint Cup events where NAPA is hosting its popular Race Day Experience, a guest will be chosen based on different criteria determined by the NAPA management from that region. The Honorary Pit Crew Member program is being offered at Bristol Motor Speedway (March 22), Phoenix International Raceway (April 18), Talladega Superspeedway (April 26), Charlotte All-Star Race (May 16), Dover International Speedway (May 31), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (June 28), Chicagoland Speedway (July 11), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 26), Watkins Glen International (August 9), Michigan International Speedway (August 16), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 22), Atlanta Motor Speedway (September 6), Richmond International Raceway (September 12), Kansas Speedway (October 4), Texas Motor Speedway (November 8) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (November 22).