GEORGE LATTIMER OF STRONGSVILLE, OHIO, SELECTED AS 14TH NAPA HONORARY CREW MEMBER OF 2010 NHRA SEASON NORWALK, Ohio (June 27, 2010) - George Lattimer, the service manager at Weber & Son Service & Repair in Strongsville, Ohio, was selected as ...
GEORGE LATTIMER OF STRONGSVILLE, OHIO, SELECTED AS 14TH NAPA HONORARY CREW MEMBER OF 2010 NHRA SEASON
NORWALK, Ohio (June 27, 2010) - George Lattimer, the service manager at Weber & Son Service & Repair in Strongsville, Ohio, was selected as the 14th NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series today at the fourth annual NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.
Weber & Son is a NAPA AutoCare Center which was established in 1987, while Latimer, 47, has been working there for just a month and a half. "Prior to that I worked for a couple of tire conglomerates in Ohio," he said.
"I've been in the auto-repair business for 25 years," added Lattimer, who was born and raised in San Diego, Calif., and moved to Ohio 16 years ago. "I was a technician for 15 and for the last 10 years I've been in the management side of it and the sales side of it. I love what I do."
Lattimer is a serious racer, who, at the age of 16 "got my first 1966 Mustang Fastback with a 428 that I actually built and put in the vehicle and ran it out at Orange County International Raceway in Southern California. I also drag raced in Irwindale, Calif., in a 10-Second Mustang that I drove daily to school. Anything that's got wheels on it and a motor that goes fast, I'm in it."
Presently, he's in the process of rebuilding a 1995 Chevy Silverado with an LT1 Corvette engine, "that I'll bring out here to Norwalk and also for the car shows," he said.
"I'm a huge Ron Capps fan and have been since Ron started. I've got a shrine in my basement, basically of Ron Capps paraphernalia and pictures," he added, with a smile. "I have one die-cast car of his that sits in its own little area. I like NAPA and I like Ron Capps."
Needless to say, he was more than delighted to have been named the NAPA Honorary Crew Member on the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger that Capps races in the NHRA. "I'm elated," he said. "You don't know the half of it. When I was told that I was being considered for it [I said] a couple of prayers that evening" he added, laughing. "Please, let somebody make the right decision and choose my backside for this! I'm lovin' this, I'm lovin' this."
Ron Koenigshofer. the general manager for the NAPA Columbus (Ohio) Distribution Center was on hand to help present the honor in the Don Schumacher Racing pit area. "George was selected out of about 394 NAPA AutoCare centers that we have out of the NAPA Columbus operation," he explained. "And I got to meet George a couple weeks ago. His jobber, who services his AutoCare Center, nominated him for this prestigious opportunity. And he said that there's no person that he's ever met in his entire life who is a more loyal or bigger drag race fan than George. So, I got to meet George, got to talk to him a little bit, found out what a great customer he was of ours and what a real fan he is of Ron Capps and drag racing. I just couldn't have picked a better person to receive this type of honor."
As for NAPA's relationship with NHRA and Don Schumacher Racing, "I think it's a great relationship and I think we're stronger as a company for it," said Koenigshofer, "and we can't be happier to have such a good spokesperson for NAPA as Ron Capps. I feel very good about the association we have with DSR and I think it's going to be a great long-term relationship from which we'll all benefit."
Lattimer's non-wrenching crew-member duties included escorting the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car to the staging lanes for Sunday's eliminations rounds. He then helped retrieve the car at the end of the track after each of Capps' passes.
The side window of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge sported his 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.