Frank Napoli Is In Mint (400) Condition
– By Stacey Gualandi
It’s in Frank Napoli’s nature to compete.
When he isn’t busy making deals and selling properties through his leading luxury realty company The Napoli Group, he can be found racing souped-up trophy trucks in long-distance road races. Adrenaline isn’t literally his middle name…but it should be.
“I’m constantly challenging myself, says Napoli. “I love that feeling of accomplishment.”
The 37-year-old Las Vegas native always had a love for competitive sports (he grew up racing motocross), but a snowboarding accident at 22 nearly threatened his life when doctors told him he was paralyzed from the neck down.
Through sheer grit and determination, Napoli miraculously overcame that devastating diagnosis, and 15 years later, he’s honoring his ambitious spirit by trading two-wheels for four to fulfill his lifelong dream to race off road.
“I’ve been working hard and saving, practicing, learning to get to a point where ultimately I’ve always wanted to drive a trophy truck, because that is top of the class,” says Napoli. “So this year, I was able to do that. Our first race in the truck was The Mint 400.”
The Mint 400 is a legendary Las Vegas race that began 50 years ago. It is the biggest, most grueling North American off-road race that takes drivers on 400 miles of some of the roughest, most treacherous Nevada desert terrain.
Without any practice time, Napoli says that he and his team went for it, qualifying for a 61st starting position out of some 70 trucks. “We said if we’re able to get around all 400 miles our first time out, without crashing, it would be a huge accomplishment for us,” he admits.
For eight straight hours in pouring rain, his conservative instincts turned competitive as he pushed the pedal to the met
al. He was like, “Let’s try to win this thing!” But early on, the truck nosedived into dirt, ripping off the front end of his brand new truck, and he lost 20 minutes near the end after breaking a wheel.
Miraculously, he did cross the finish line in a respectable 22nd place. It was a mental and physical challenge, but Napoli says the beating he took was worth every second.
“The way I approach this adrenaline-filled sport is the same way I approach my real estate business,” he shares. “I look at each challenge, and my goal is to obliterate, succeed and break records. That’s what I do for my clients and for myself. I take that no-lose, no-fail attitude in everything that I do.”
Will he return next year? Napoli says you bet. No doubt in first place.
Racing Images: Daniel Curiel Photographic