WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – NAPA AUTO PARTS recognized Jeff White of Canastota, N.Y. as its Honorary Pit Crew Member for yesterday’s Watkins Glen International Sprint Cup Series race. White was given the honor by NAPA’s Eastern Division management team.
White is a full-time technician at Lou’s Village Service which is an independent repair facility in Canastota, N.Y. It is one of the Canastota NAPA store’s largest customers and has been an AutoCare Center for nine years. White has been a technician for over 23 years assisting customers with both major and minor repairs. He appreciates everything NAPA has done to grow and improve the business especially offering classes to employees.
White is also a fireman with the Oneida City Fire Department. He’s an avid NASCAR fan and got to go to Dover International Speedway a few years ago thanks to another NAPA opportunity, but yesterday’s experience was over-the-top in his mind.
“I would do this again in a heartbeat,” remarked White. “This is so amazing. I can’t believe I am walking around here with all the drivers in the garage area and on pit road where all the stuff is happening.”
White was joined by fellow colleague Jim Miles. They arrived at the Watkins Glen International and were invited to join Martin Truex Jr. and owner Michael Waltrip during their appearances at the NAPA Race Day Experience. The driver of the No. 56 NAPA Toyota made the honor official by presenting his special guest with a team crew shirt on pit road. White and Miles were treated to a personal tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage area, the NAPA team hauler and pit road by Michael Waltrip Racing’s Rick Wainright. They also joined the NAPA team for lunch and then participated in the pre-race activities.
White even got the autograph of one of NASCAR’s biggest icons -- The King, Richard Petty.
“I was standing right next to him in the pit area and Jim said, 'Hey, that’s Richard Petty!' I walked right over to him and it turns out, he’s one of the nicest guys in the world. He was so polite and didn’t hesitate to sign my NAPA shirt. It was amazing.”
White’s biggest surprise of the day was seeing his name on the lower quarter panels of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said White. “I was told about it at the NAPA Race Day Experience and even Martin Truex Jr. filled me in on it. I had no idea. This is unbelievable. I’m now looking forward to watching some of the race from the NAPA pit box. That’s what I have been really looking forward to. We want to see some pit stops.”
Truex drove the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota to a 15th-place finish in the 90-lap event.
For the second year in a row at NASCAR Sprint Cup events where NAPA is hosting its popular Race Day Experience, a guest will be chosen based on different criteria determined by the NAPA management from that region. The Honorary Pit Crew Member program is taking place at upcoming hospitality events at Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 15), Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 21), Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sept. 5), Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 11), Dover International Speedway (Sept. 26), Kansas Speedway (Oct. 3), Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 7) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 21).