CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2009) – Jim Dorwart, of Hubert, N.C., was selected as the 21st NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series at this weekend's NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, N.C.
Dorwart, who owns Dorwart's Garage in Hubert has been a customer of NAPA AUTO PARTS for 15 years and is also a NAPA AutoCare Center. This was his first visit to an NHRA drag race and "I was quite impressed," he said as he performed his non-wrenching duties on the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car driven by Ron Capps.
He is, however, deeply involved in dirt-track racing as a car owner. "I've been dirt-track racing for 17, 18 years," said Dowart, 42. "Over those years we raced sprint cars, late models, limited late models and pro stocks. We have won three championships over the years and I have always enjoyed racing on the dirt tracks, although I've never been a race-car driver.
"I love anything that has engines in it and goes fast," he added. "It has been eye-opening for me to see what goes on out here, and I've been having a good time.
"NAPA has been very good. I've been buying NAPA parts for about 15, 16 years and our shop has been a NAPA AutoCare Center for about seven months. The parts are good, warranties are good, and that's where I buy my parts."
Kelly Lingerfelt, of Retail Sports Marketing, which handles all NAPA's local activation of sports promotions in select markets, explained the selection process. "All of our winners who came to this event won by entering a promotion with their local store owners," she said.
"Everybody had to make a qualified purchase through Pro-Link (an on-line automatic ordering system) and by hitting that qualified purchase they were able to get an entry to win a chance to come to the race.
"On top of that, we have an honorary pit crew member element as part of our sponsorship that we award as well, so as many entries as you get into this promotion, on top of that you can win a chance to be the NAPA Honorary Crew Member. And that’s how Jim was selected.”
Dorwart's non-wrenching crew-member duties included escorting the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car to the staging lanes for the two qualifying rounds on Saturday. He then helped retrieve the car at the end of the track following Capps' runs.
The side window of the NAPA Dodge sported Dorwart's name as the NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member on Saturday.
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.