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Louden, NH Events


Interview with Joe Wheelock - Loudon Honorary Pit Crew Member

Joe Wheelock

Joe, is a 69-year-old 11-store owner out of the NAPA Boston Distribution Center. He just added his 11th store earlier this year. His stores range about 70 miles apart, from north to south, making it very manageable from a commuting standpoint. Joe started out in the NAPA Family as a AutoCare Center and then bought his first store 27 years ago. Joe runs a great NAPA operation, bleeds blue and yellow and is a great spokesperson for the NAPA family. Joe is a lifelong race fan and a true supporter of Chase and the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS team.


You’ve been a member of the NAPA family for quite a long time.  How has that relationship been?

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with NAPA over the years. It’s a great company and we are so grateful for the opportunities that have been provided. Managing this many stores is definitely a lot of work, but with each store it gets a little easier.  I am proud of the business that we’ve built.”


Do you have future plans to keep the business in the family once you retire?

“I just turned 69 years old this year, so the word ‘retirement’ is pretty emotional for me as of late because I know it’s not that far off. What we’ve built here is very sentimental to me, but there’s been a plan in the works of passing on the business.  My son Chris has worked here for 22 years and is learning and observing just what it takes to execute everything.  His wife has also joined the company in the front office so we are starting to put the building blocks in place to prepare for my retirement.”


What was the highlight of your experience today?

“I wish more people could get the chance to come down here.  The whole experience has been great, there isn’t one thing that’s been the best.  We had suite tickets today, but we stayed on the pit box for the entire race which was great!”


DRIVER:                      Chase Elliott / No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet

RACE:                          Lakes Region 200 (200 laps / 211.6 miles)

TRACK:                       New Hampshire Motor Speedway

DATE:                          Saturday, July 18, 2015


Elliott Picks Closes Gap in Championship Hunt at Loudon


Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, finished ninth in Saturday’s Lakes Region 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS).  Elliott gained five points on championship leader Chris Buescher, remaining in sole possession of second place – just 31 points back with 16 races left in the season.  Denny Hamlin led four times for a race-high 145 laps on his way to notching his second NXS victory of the season and 13th of his career.


After qualifying ninth earlier in the day, Elliott bolted out of the gate strong, powering his NAPA Chevy inside the top-five on lap 30.  For the majority of the race, Elliott kept a steady pace inside the top 10, but battled a loose Camaro most of the afternoon.  Crew chief Ernie Cope and the NAPA squad went to work during a lap-39 caution, changing right-side tires, adding fuel and making a chassis adjustment to help Elliott’s rear security as he entered the turns of the 1.058-mile flat surface.

As the race progressed, Elliott started to have issues driving out of each corner, saying the car was too tight.  On a lap-116 caution, Elliott came in for a chassis adjustment to help the issue, while also grabbing four tires and fuel.  Unfortunately for Elliott, the adjustment was not exactly what he needed to help him roll the center of each corner, so the team reversed their changes the next time in on lap 143 and kept Elliott inside the top-10 for the ensuing restart.

On the race’s final restart with 26 laps to go, Elliott would hold steady inside the top-10, bringing home his series-leading 13th top-10 finish.

Denny Hamlin outran Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez for the victory.


Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott

“We struggled a bit today trying to get our NAPA Camaro to turn the center while keeping the rear security.  I was hesitant of the rear end at full power when I entered each corner.  Once we tightened up, I became loose in and it was tough to turn the middle.  It would plow on exit.  It was a back-and-forth thing.  However, I was pleased to gain points in the championship race.  It’s a long season with much more racing left.  We will go back and work on improving and be prepared for Indy next week.”

Wheelocks Auto Parts at Louden
Wheelocks Auto Parts at Louden
Wheelocks Auto Parts at Louden
Wheelocks Auto Parts at Louden

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