Truex Jr. Helps Repair Car of National Guardsman
CAYCE, S.C. - No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. relies on his pit crew whenever his race car needs repairs. On Wednesday near Columbia, S.C., it was the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver’s turn to act as the chief mechanic.
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver visited Love Automotive, a NAPA AutoCare Center, in Cayce, S.C. to supervise the pit stop for Blair Raines whose car had fallen out of repair. Truex and the shop employees put on new NAPA brakes and made some general repairs.
Raines, 27, from Leesville, S.C. returned from a year in Afghanistan with the 1221 South Carolina Engineering and Clearance Company in the National Guard. Raines and his company’s duties were to ensure safe travel in some very tough areas.
“Our jobs were to clear the road of the bombs planted by the bad guys,” said Raines. “We took the hits for everyone. They said it was the most dangerous job in country.”
The company deployed in July 2010 and returned a year later with two less Guardsmen.
“That was hard,” recalled Raines. Will Rabon was one of my best friends. I didn’t know Willie Harley as well, but when you start to lose friends and acquaintances in war it gives you a new perspective on so many things.”
That wasn’t lost on Truex.
“You see soldiers and guardsmen like Blair every weekend at the racetrack and I feel honored when they ask for my picture or autograph,” said Truex who is sixth in the standings heading into Saturday’s race at Darlington Raceway. “They are heroes and deserve to be recognized for their service whenever possible. They and their families have incredible courage. Their attitudes are unbelievable and it’s a privilege just to hang around them. We fixed up his car today, put on new NAPA brakes and saved him some money he could use to spend on other things.”
Wednesday’s pit stop for Raines will be the first of several repairs in the Columbia area kicking off the NAPA KNOWS HOW TO CARE program that runs through June. Love Automotive will accept nominations from customers of deserving families or organizations that could use a brake repair similar to the work done for Raines.
Before he left for Afghanistan, Raines worked in heating and cooling near Columbia. Upon his return he started working at VC Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, S.C.
But he has a goal.
“I’ve been talking with officers about flying helicopters - specifically medevac copters,” said Raines. “I’m tired of shooting at people. I want to start helping them.”
To submit nominations contact: Love Automotive Group Columbia; Sales Department: (803) 407-4849 Service: (803) 407-4800; Address: 1255 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033.