BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 17, 2009) – Jimmy Mott of Cookeville, Tenn., was selected as the ninth NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series today at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Mott has been the owner of J&S Auto Repair, also a NAPA AutoCare Center, in Cookeville for the last 11 years and buys NAPA parts from the local NAPA store owned by Steve Phillips.
"NAPA has always done a great job for us," said Mott. "They've treated us well, and it's great to do business with a locally-owned parts store.
"Steve knows we always come to the races here in Bristol, and because we've drag raced for years he asked me if I would like my name put in the hat for this honor. I said, Yeah! In fact, I think my wife Stacey and (8-year-old) daughter Kelsey were more excited about it than I was when we got the news."
Mott, 38, bracket raced a 1968 Camaro near his home in Tennessee but quit about three years ago "when my little girl became more important," he said.
Mott's non-wrenching crew-member duties included escorting the NAPA Adaptive One Brakes 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 NHRA Funny Car points leader Capps' runs.
He also met and chatted with the entire NAPA Adaptive One Brakes 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.
"That was awesome," said Mott. "Ron Capps definitely needs to win the championship this year."
"I think it is wonderful that NAPA and Don Schumacher Racing are treating somebody who I think is royalty like they are royalty," said Phillips, who has owned his Cookeville NAPA store, located half-way between Nashville and Knoxville (Tenn.) for four years. "And I am so proud that Jimmy got it because he's a fantastic NAPA customer.
“Jimmy is a huge Ron Capps fan. He loves Ron’s competitiveness, friendly fan-oriented demeanor and family clean manner. Jimmy has raced his own stock car in the past and knows how hard it is to be at the top of that profession and appreciates what Ron Capps means to NAPA.”
The side window of the NAPA Dodge also sported Mott'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.