MADISON, ILL (May 3, 2009) – Rodney Singleton was selected as the eighth NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series today at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Int'l Raceway.
Singleton, 42, of Brighton, Ill. (40 miles north of Gateway) owns RS Auto Repair in Brighton and was selected through the Godfrey, Ill., McKay NAPA store, where he buys parts for his business. "Earl and Jim McKay called me and asked me if I would be interested and I jumped at the chance," said Singleton. "They own 17 stores in the area and we buy from the Godfrey store."
A regular at Gateway on Tuesdays for testing and tuning sessions in his 1978 Pontiac Firebird street car, Singleton also works on "Nasty Habit," a Bantam Altered car that is driven by Mike Schuenke in National Pro Comp Association (NPCA) events.
"We go to Indianapolis, Columbus, Ohio, and Kansas City. We do Nostalgia racing like Ron Capps used to do," added Singleton. "The car has a blown big-block Chevy in it and it goes to seven seconds in 200 mph.
"I watch NHRA drag racing on ESPN2 and to be here with Ron Capps, who qualified No. 1, is pretty great. He took me through the Don Schumacher Racing trailers when I was here Friday and it was pretty neat.
"It's a great opportunity. I couldn't believe it. I would do it every time they were here if they let me.
"We've had the repair shop for four years now. It's just a small place but we're really busy. We're a country-oriented operation, not big-city, and we work on everything."
Singleton's non-wrenching crew-member duties included escorting the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car to the staging lanes for the first and second rounds of eliminations today. He also helped retrieve the car at the end of the track following Capps' winning runs.
He also met and chatted with the entire NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car crew, was a special guest in the NAPA hospitality area throughout the weekend, received a NAPA team jersey, experienced an up-close-and-personal view of the NAPA crew as the team worked on the car, and enjoyed a private tour of the team transporter and pit area.
The side window of the NAPA Dodge also sported Singleton's name as this weekend's NAPA Honorary Pit Crew Member.
NAPA AUTO PARTS distribution centers at each NHRA event during the season have different criteria for choosing the persons who are potential NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Members.