CONCORD, N.C. – For the past 12 years, Anthony “Tom” Wall of Danbury, Conn., has enjoyed coming to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway as he thought he had the best seat in the house in the Laconia Grandstands. But on Sunday afternoon, he found an even better place to watch the Sprint Cup race. He was a NAPA crew member after being selected by NAPA to be the Honorary Pit Crew Member at Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.
Wall works as the service manager, service advisor and service writer for Federal Towing and Car Care, an authorized NAPA AUTO PARTS dealer in Danbury. He has over 25 years of service manager experience and is proud to say that his company only uses NAPA parts.
“The warrantees that go with the products and the swiftness of the deliveries are excellent,” said Wall. “Plus, the people who work for NAPA are extremely knowledgeable and go to great lengths to get me the parts I need when I need them.
“I just love cars and have learned through the years that the people have made my job even more enjoyable. I like speaking to them about how they can take better care of their cars and to explain to them about their cars. I like to read up on all the new products and from time to time even work on the cars. I love to keep my hands in the business.”
Wall is a motorsports enthusiast and in the early years, he did some street and drag racing. He’s even been on the track at the New Hampshire and Las Vegas Motor Speedways through the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
“I absolutely love the opportunity NAPA has given to me today,” said Wall. “Racing is something I wish I could have pursued as a career when I was younger, but it didn’t work out. So to get a chance to spend the day as a crew member is just unbelievable. Everyone associated with the NAPA AUTO PARTS team have been so nice. They are just normal people.”
Wall’s day started with a stop at the NAPA Race Day Experience where he was honored by driver Michael Waltrip during his hospitality appearance. The two-time Daytona 500 champion presented him with an official NAPA Racing crew shirt. Then it was off to the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage with his guest Laura Futie, a fellow sales manager from Danbury. They enjoyed lunch with the team and were escorted onto pit road by Rick Wainright of Michael Waltrip Racing. While on the starting grid, they had their picture taken with NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Michael Waltrip. Waltrip got a kick out of showing Wall his official Honorary Pit Crew Member decal on the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota.
“I am shocked,” said a stunned Wall. “I did not know that my name was going to be on the car! I just thought it was an honor to be chosen especially after Michael told us at hospitality that his brother Darrell was getting the same honor at Daytona.”
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 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).