When the tire smoke cleared and the final results tallied, Gary Boesel, owner of CARSTAR Alpine and CARSTAR Jordan Road took home the top honors with a fast time of 153.87 in the 3M Hire Our Heroes 500, outpacing representatives from top collision repair companies and industry partners.
3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, along with the Collision Repair Education Foundation, put its effort to provide collision repair education opportunities for military members into high gear this year, hosting the 3M Hire Our Heroes 500 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This year’s program raised more than $150,000 for the 3M Hire Our Heroes program, which provides scholarships and tool grants for military members who want to enter the collision repair industry. All donations for the 3M Hire Our Heroes 500 went to the 3M Hire Our Heroes scholarship fund.
“That was one of the most incredible experiences in my life,” said Boesel, who competed in drag racing as a young adult. “To have my family here and take home the trophy is amazing. Then to have Richard Petty present it to me is unbelievable. What an honor to race for the team at CARSTAR Alpine and CARSTAR Jordan Road and represent the CARSTAR brand.”
Boesel said he thinks veterans and the automotive industry are such a natural fit because "both are a dedicated bunch. Our employees and very dedicated, and like veterans, they are good people who care about people, who want to do the right thing."
Boesel's wife and two sons, Derrick and Mitch, joined him at the raise, serving as his unofficial "pit crew." "This is unbelievable surreal," Derrick said.
Mitch, who also races and works in his father's business, said he acquired his love of racing from his dad. "He is an inspiration, my hero. I'm very thankful to have him as a father," he said.
On Tuesday, October 30 during the 2018 SEMA Show, representatives from top MSO and independent collision repair companies industry partners competed in NASCAR stock cars from the NASCAR Racing Experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for bragging rights as the fastest collision repair professional in the industry. Legendary automotive designer Chip Foose waved the green flag for the field. The winner was presented the race trophy by NASCAR Hall of Fame member Richard Petty on Wednesday, October 31, in the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division outside booth at SEMA.
Companies that competed in the race included CARSTAR, Gerber Collision & Glass, Auto Body Evolution, Lindsay Collision Centers, Brandywine Coach Works, Skeeter’s Body Shop, Caliber Collision, Fix Auto, Berkshire HathawayAutomotive/English Color and Supply, Certified Collision Group, CARSTAR Jordon Road/CARSTAR Alpine, GarmatUSA and Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Each participant generously donated to have a car in the field. All proceeds benefit the 3M Hire Our Heroes program.
“What a great night with many of our colleagues in the collision repair industry,” said Dale Ross, U.S. Marketing Operations Manager for 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “There was racing excitement in beautifully branded race cars under the lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Chip Foose waved the green flag, top painters from around the country showed off custom helmets for each driver and it all benefited an important cause – providing scholarships and tool grants for military members who want to work in the collision repair industry. This was a unique, once-of-a-lifetime event that engaged many of our collision repair industry’s leading companies in a race for an amazing trophy – and bragging rights. We’re honored to have everyone’s support.”
The partners in the 3M Hire Our Heroes 500 included 3M Commercial Solutions Division, which provided the graphic film for the cars, TriMaxx Graphics, which printed the film, Graphix GearWerks handled the installation, and NASCAR Racing Experience provided the race cars and managed the on-track event.
“The 3M Hire Our Heroes program has been an incredible initiative that will help launch a rewarding career for our scholarship and tool grant recipients and benefit our industry overall,” said Clark Plucinski, Executive Director of the Collision Repair Education Foundation. “The generosity of the industry in supporting this program is heartwarming, and they are playing a critical role in building the success of our industry for years to come.”
This is the sixth year that 3M has partnered with the Collision Repair Education Foundation in support of our industry and our nation's veterans. Since 2013, the 3M Hire Our Heroes program has generated more than $1.2 million to be used toward scholarships and tool grants for military veterans and their family members. Nearly 330 military veterans and their families have already received scholarships and grants. For more information on the 3M Hire Our Heroes campaign, visit www.3mcollision.com/hire.