Cornelius, North Carolina – NAPA AUTO PARTS recognized Kellie Dean with the Honorary Pit Crew Member award during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
Dean is the President and CEO of Dean Transportation. He's been in business for over 25 years, but his company's history dates back nearly 50 years. His organization provides yellow school bus services to over 100 school districts with over 1000 vehicles in operation. Dean Transportation has purchased their vehicle parts from NAPA and five years ago, added a NAPA distribution center on their property in Grand Rapids, Mich. Dean also owns Dean Trailways of Michigan - part of the International Trailways.
"Being in the passenger transportation business, we need to provide safe and courteous service for everyone," stated Dean. "I am proud that we have one of the best maintenance services in the state of Michigan. Frankly, it has been a tremendous relationship with NAPA. NAPA actually mans our parts office within our building. My employees love it as they are always on time. Plus, besides the great pricing, I am proud to be a partner of NAPA."
On Sunday, Dean and his son Chris arrived to the track ready to see the driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota; Martin Truex Jr. Dean started his day by attending NAPA's Race Day Experience hospitality tent where he met Truex and his car owner Michael Waltrip. It was during Truex's visit that Dean learned his name was decaled on the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for the race.
"I've been to this racetrack before," added Dean. "But I never got this game-day experience. We've been greeted so well and it's been a pleasure meeting everyone from the crew members to Michael Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr. I thought I was one of several folks attending this race because of my proud relationship with NAPA. To find out that I have been singled out with this honor is just unbelievable. I am still in total shock about my name being on the car. I am very proud."
Dean then made his way to the starting grid where his once-in-a-lifetime experience continued. He huddled up with the NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew on pit road and gave them a motivational speech. After the high fives concluded, he climbed up onto the NAPA pit box to watch a portion of the race with crew chief Chad Johnston and key members of the NAPA Racing team.
For the third year in a row, NAPA is offering the Honorary Pit Crew Member program during its popular Race Day Experience at 38 NASCAR events. NAPA selects a valued member of its partner community based on different criteria determined by the NAPA management in the region.