FORT WORTH, Texas – As the saying goes, “Everything is Bigger in Texas.” And for one lucky NAPA AUTO PARTS customer, Kenny Duffield, he experienced Sunday’s Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) like no other fan at the track. That’s because he was selected by NAPA to be its Honorary Pit Crew Member.
Duffield of Cleburne, Texas, has been coming to the Texas Motor Speedway for several years to watch the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. On Sunday, he got to see first hand the inner workings of NASCAR’s top Series as a guest of NAPA. When he found out he was selected through a drawing, he didn’t believe it at first.
“I am still kind of speechless as I am standing here,” said Duffield. “I can’t imagine this getting any better than it already is and the race hasn’t even started. It’s been absolutely great. I really enjoyed meeting Michael. I’ll be happy just to hang with him again out on pit road for the start of the race.”
Duffield arrived bright and early to TMS where he was greeted by Liz Giordini who runs the NAPA Race Day Experience. At the popular hospitality event, he met the two-time Daytona 500 champion at his appearance and was presented an autographed crew shirt. Duffield also helped Waltrip give away a NAPA racing helmet to a lucky fan in the audience. From there, he was escorted by Michael Waltrip Racing’s Rick Wainright to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage area where he got a personal tour of the garage, NAPA team hauler and pit road. Duffield also joined the NAPA team for lunch, took in all the pre-race activities and then watched the race from on the NAPA Racing pit box.
One of the most popular elements of the Honorary Pit Crew Member program is the placement of the winner’s name on the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry.
Duffield was taken back when he saw his name, “I didn’t believe that either when I actually saw it! Seeing my name on Michael’s car is so neat. This truly is an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Duffield is proud to buy NAPA AUTO PARTS. He has been a customer of the Cleburne NAPA AUTO PARTS store for many years. He is a contractor and has a side business working on cars.
“What I love about NAPA is they always have what I need,” added Duffield. “Usually the things I work on are off-the-wall stuff. There are many times when I think the rare part I need isn’t even available, but NAPA always has it. I don’t know how they do it, but they sure do a great job and make my projects a lot easier.”
When Duffield isn’t working on cars, he has a passion for drag racing. This season he has started competing and goes to NAPA for parts for his 1965 El Camino.
Duffield boasts, “It’s ugly, but it’s fast!”
This season at 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup events where NAPA is hosting its 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 the upcoming hospitality event at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22.