CONCORD, N.C. – Rick Worthington of Sacramento, Calif., enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience when he was selected by NAPA to be the Honorary Pit Crew Member during Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 race at Infineon Raceway. Worthington was joined by his friend Sabora Wojtkowiak to participate in NAPA’s new program for valued customers and clients at select NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
Worthington works for Honest Engine, a successful automotive repair and car maintenance business that has been in operation since 1984. Honest Engine has four locations in the Sacramento area and one of the shops is owned by Worthington. He was recognized by NAPA for his large increase in purchases with his Fulton store over the past six months. Worthington is up 75 percent and is appreciated for being a very loyal NAPA AUTO PARTS customer.
“NAPA actually moved a store across the street from mine so it’s really convenient for me,” commented Worthington, a native of Sacramento. “At least 90 percent of my stuff is through NAPA because of the quality of their parts and great service.”
Worthington is a motorsports enthusiast. He caught the racing bug at just 16 years of age when he built show cars and dragsters. Currently, he spends his weekends as a crew chief on a drag racing team that races a 1968 Camaro. The car boasts 3,000 horsepower and a speed of 240 miles per hour in a six-second run. He took full advantage of his experience at Infineon Raceway as he got to compare NASCAR to drag racing.
“It was interesting to see how the NAPA Racing team has twenty guys working on a car whereas my drag racing team has four people,” Worthington said. “I especially enjoyed watching the NASCAR tech line. It was so much more extensive. Our tech lasts for just 10 minutes and we’re done. I was talking to one of the crew members and Friday’s tech session took four hours.”
Worthington and Wojtkowiak’s day consisted of meeting the NAPA team and having lunch with the crew. They were then escorted onto pit road by Rick Wainright of Michael Waltrip Racing where they met NAPA’s driver Patrick Carpentier, who was subbing for Michael Waltrip. Carpentier presented Worthington with an official NAPA crew shirt and hat and then showed Worthington his official Honorary Pit Crew Member decal on the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. The duo took part in pre-race activities and spent the entire race on the NAPA pit box with crew chief Bootie Barker. Their day culminated in an exciting finish that saw Carpentier’s teammate, Marcos Ambrose, in contention for the win and Carpentier battling for an 11th-place finish.
“Thank you very much for an awesome experience,” said Wojtkowiak. “We had a great time and we enjoyed ourselves very much.”
This season at 18 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 will take place at upcoming hospitality events at 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).