CHAMPCAR/CART: Fontana: Shell team wins craftsman pit crew challenge

FONTANA, CALIFORNIA . . . Team Rahal's Shell pit crew captured the championship in the 2002 Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge (CPCC) shootout taking home the $50,000 first prize and successfully defending their 2001 CPCC championship. The Craftsman Pit...

FONTANA, CALIFORNIA . . . Team Rahal's Shell pit crew captured the championship in the 2002 Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge (CPCC) shootout taking home the $50,000 first prize and successfully defending their 2001 CPCC championship. The Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge is a season long competition between CART pit crews that culminated in the "shootout finals" on Friday afternoon at California Speedway. The Shell crew turned in a stop of 35.042-seconds on their first stop, which was top among the five crews that were in the finals.

"This just validates what these guys have done week after week this season," said Jimmy Vasser, driver of the Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires. "These guys had everyone covered by a mile during the season and they showed again today just how quick they are. The team has won this competition two-years in a row and it is because these guys are so dedicated to being the best at what they do. The Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge is a great competition. All season long the crew guys are well aware of the points week in and week out. For the pit crews this is their championship."

"This is awesome," said Shell crew chief Bharat Naran. "We were able to turn in a quick time on the first stop and we were just hoping we wouldn't have to do another stop. We got a good group of guys and we work really hard at it and everyone is really dedicated to being successful and that dedication is what enables us to be successful week after week."

Team Rahal is a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). Headquartered in Hilliard, Ohio, the team owned by three-time CART Champion Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, currently fields a pair of Championship Cars for 1996 CART champion Jimmy Vasser and Michel Jourdain Jr. in the CART FedEx Championship Series as well as an entry for Vasser in the Indianapolis 500. The team recently signed rising open wheel star Danica Patrick to a multi-year driving contract. Patrick drove five races in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in 2002 and will graduate to the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2003 where she will pilot the Team Rahal entry. The 65-member team enjoys primary sponsorship from the Shell Oil Company and the Gigante Group in CART and the Miller Brewing Company for the Indy 500.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Danica Patrick , Michel Jourdain