ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 26, 2009) – Rickey Stinchcomb, a shop supervisor for 20 years at the University of North Texas automotive service shop, was selected as the 22nd NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series today at the NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.
A second NAPA Honorary Crew Member of the weekend will be named on Sunday.
Stinchcomb, 51, of Denton, Texas, works on "maintenance vehicles, police cars, tractors, and even golf carts. If it rolls, we work on it," he said. The University became a new customer this year of the NAPA AUTO PARTS store in Denton.
"Competition is really strong in Denton," explained Stinchcomb. "There's an auto store on every corner. The NAPA store came and set us up on line, got us organized with everything NAPA. It was really easy, and it's been a really good relationship so far."
As a racing fan, Stinchcomb has followed NHRA drag racing since he was a child. "My daddy raced cars, my brother and I bracket raced, and now my daughter Autumn, 24, bracket races locally," he said. "She just won her first two trophies in the last two weeks. I'm a fan.
"My kids (Autumn, Adam, 20, and Amber, 27) grew up here at the Motorplex. I have pictures of them from the time they were babies at the starting line at the pro races, growing up every year. I have pictures of them with Ed 'Ace' McCulloch (crew chief on the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge) with the Otter Pops Funny Car he drove."
As for his experience here this weekend in the Don Schumacher Racing pits helping out the "regular" crew on the NAPA Dodge Funny Car driven by Ron Capps. "Man, it's fantastic," he said. "I can't believe it. It's been really good."
John Biernacki, Wholesale Manager of the NAPA Dallas Distribution Center, was on hand to present the award. "We kind of changed things up a little bit this year. Instead of doing a sales contest with different tracking means, we actually asked each one of our 112 stores to nominate a customer.
"At that point, on Sept. 15th, we went ahead and had the girls in the office make a blind draw - none of us was even in there - and I got the notification of who they drew. Rickey was chosen and I drove up to Denton and visited him in the office and sprung the news to him and he was really excited.
"It couldn't have happened to a better guy. He's a big NHRA fan, it's in his blood, and he's been around it his whole life. So, he was very excited to have been chosen to come and join us today.”
The side window of the NAPA Dodge sported Stinchcomb's name as the NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member on Saturday.
His 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.
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.