COMMERCE, Ga. (May 16, 2010) – Mark Wyatt, of Loganville, Ga., was selected as the ninth NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew member of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series at the 30th annual NHRA Southern Nationals this weekend.
Wyatt, 28, is the store manager at Murray Tire Center in Loganville, which is also a NAPA AutoCare Center. He's worked there for almost a year, and two months ago was named the store manager.
"We started out using NAPA AUTO PARTS about two months after I went to the store," said Wyatt. "I had a good connection with the store manager at the NAPA store in Loganville, and I've been using their parts. We switched ownership to Murray Tire Center, and now they stock all NAPA parts and it doubled the business."
Wyatt admits to not being much of a race fan, but is excited to have been selected as the NAPA Honorary Crew Member. "I haven't really watched a lot of racing," he said. "I've been wanting to go to an NHRA drag race, but this is actually my first one. This is quite an honor.”
When asked if he followed NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car Ron Capps, he responded with a smile: "I've heard of him, but I know very little about him. I actually looked him up on Wikipedia before I came here. I'm hoping this opportunity to see how NHRA and Don Schumacher Racing operates might spark me into following it more, but this is my first experience with it."
Stephen Moore, the Atlanta NAPA Operations Manager for the Atlanta District was on hand to help present the honor to Wyatt today in the DSR pit area. "Mark and Murray Tire Center were selected basically due to sales increases over previous years," he said. "They had always been doing business with us. They went under new ownership, they became a NAPA AutoCare Center and then they actually increased their sales in a period of two months by over 45-50 percent, so we appreciate that.
"There's probably 20,000 accounts in our district, and their phenomenal sales increase within a two-month period was over all of them."
Moore is a racing fan who values the relationship NAPA has with DSR and Ron Capps. "I think it's great. I'm a racer myself so it's a great opportunity for us to be more involved with DSR and Ron Capps.
"I've got a Nostalgia Super Stock and a bracket car and I race here at Atlanta Dragway every weekend when the weather's good.”
Wyatt's non-wrenching crew-member duties included escorting the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car to the staging lanes for Sunday's two eliminations rounds. He then helped retrieve the car at the end of the track after each run.
The side window of the NAPA Dodge sported Wyatt's name as the NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member this weekend.
He also met and chatted with the entire NAPA 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.