HOMESTEAD, Fla. – David Galloway enjoys his career in the auto industry – an industry he learned about by simply walking in the door by chance. What he considers a fluke has turned into a successful career. On Sunday, he was recognized by NAPA as its final Honorary Pit Crew Member of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“We were treated like kings and were really taken care of,” commented Galloway who was joined by three of his colleagues from the corporately-owned Bridgestone Firestone Complete Auto Care in nearby Fort Lauderdale. “We really enjoyed being toured through the garage area by Rick (Wainright). He pointed out a lot of interesting aspects of what goes on in a NASCAR race weekend. I was intrigued with the NASCAR inspection process. There is basically no room for error on these cars. I had no idea it was that intense. The guys in the shop and at the track are really great.”
Galloway is an Assistant District Manager at the Bridgestone Firestone store. NAPA is one of his main suppliers. He’s been with the company for over 15 years and learned everything from scratch. He credits his success to setting goals and working hard to achieve them. He also thanks his family for all their support. He loves the business because he enjoys working with people and in an industry that will always fill a need.
“We’re always going to work on cars,” said Galloway. “From time to time, one of them is going to break.”
As part of the Honorary Pit Crew Member program, Galloway met NAPA driver Michael Waltrip, who was driving in his final race as a full-time driver. He joined the two-time Daytona 500 champion in front of a packed house of guests at the NAPA Race Day Experience. He was given an official NAPA AUTO PARTS crew shirt autographed by Waltrip. From there, Galloway and his group were escorted to the NAPA hauler by Wainright were they ate lunch with the crew and participated in driver introductions. Galloway also had a photo taken with Waltrip and his brother, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Darrell Waltrip by the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry. Prominently displayed on the No. 55 Toyota was Galloway’s name celebrating his top honor. His day concluded by watching a portion of the race from the NAPA Racing pit box with crew chief Gene Nead and MWR’s director of race engineering Steve Hallam.
“The NAPA pit box was pretty impressive. It’s the ultimate tool box,” remarked Galloway.
This season, NAPA introduced the Honorary Pit Crew Member Program to its NASCAR program. It was held at 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup events in conjunction with the Race Day Experience. Guests were chosen on different criteria determined by the NAPA management from that region. The Honorary Pit Crew Member program will continue in 2010.