KENT, Wash. (July 19, 2009) – NAPA AJason Claggett, of Lacey, Wash., was named the 16th NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series at the NHRA Northwest Nationals.
Part owner, with his father Mike and brother Kyle, of Hawks Prairie Automotive in Lacey, Claggett was selected for this honor by the local NAPA Distribution Center in Kent, Wash.
"It's a pretty big honor and this event is something that we look forward to every year," said Randy Van Horn, Sales Manager at the local NAPA Distribution Center, who represents NAPA's independent store owners in the area. "And we were looking at who might be the honoree. We got some input from a lot of our store owners, both independent and company-owned, as well as George Swindells (NAPA's District Manager who runs the company-owned stores) and asked what big customer of ours would have a good time out here, and who is loyal to NAPA and with whom we could grow?
"And Kim Ostriech, NAPA's sales rep in Lacey suggested Jason as someone who would really enjoy the honor. Jason's shop is a big customer, they give NAPA a lot of business and this is our way of thanking Jason for what he and his folks do for us."
"My dad's been in this business for 35 years," said Claggett, 32, "and I've been in it for the last 10 years. I'm part owner and I wear all the hats. We're not a NAPA AutoCare Center yet, but we're working on it."
Claggett is a serious NHRA drag-racing fan who has watched the drag races at the NHRA Northwest Nationals for many years. "I've been coming to this place since I was 16, so that would be about 16 years," he said. "I've been to this event at least every other year, but in the last six years it's been every year."
Although he said he'd like to get involved in motorsports, the closest he's come so far is riding ATVs in the Oregon sand dunes and building hot rods for customers at his shop, including a 1957 Chevy "from the ground up" and a 1967 Corvette that is currently being restored there.
Claggett's non-wrenching crew-member duties included escorting the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car to the staging lanes for the eliminations rounds on Sunday. He then helped retrieve the car at the end of the track following NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car driver and class points leader Capps' runs.
"This is awesome, just awesome," he said. "When I was told what I was going to be doing, I didn't believe it."
The side window of the NAPA Dodge also sported Claggett's name as the NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member.
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.
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.