MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- The over-the-wall pit crew for Dave Blaney and the ...
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- The over-the-wall pit crew for Dave Blaney and the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford team won Round 2 of the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade at Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway. Blaney's crew spent 223 seconds in the pits to edge the crew of Kurt Busch and the #97 Rubbermaid/Sharpie team by four seconds to earn the weekly $20,000 prize.
The Jasper Motorsports team added six new team members prior to the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, including four crew members who have provided immediate dividends for the team's over-the-wall efforts.
The new members of the #77 Jasper Engines pit crew include Aaron Pieratt, an addition to the team's finish-fabrication area in-shop and a front-tire carrier for the #97 Roush Racing Team; the rear-tire changer/carrier combination of Clay Robinson (body shop) and Mike Houston (suspension) from the #40 Ganassi Racing Team's pit-stop lineup and jackman C.G. Goldizen from Petty Enterprises.
The four new additions to the #77 Jasper Ford pit-stop crew have joined returning tire changer Rich Macco--who works with Pieratt on the front tires--and veteran gasman Dennis Cabe in a revised lineup that has deepened the team's roster of over-the-wall athletes.
"As we moved toward the close of last season, we looked as all teams do at what we might do to strengthen our program for the next season, and we felt like we addressed two areas with the addition of (new Crew Chief) Bootie Barker and the addition of these talented guys to our in-shop and over-the-wall roster," said Mark Harrah, Co-Owner and Team Manager for Jasper Motorsports.
"The addition of the four over-the-wall guys provides us with a deeper roster of options for our pit-stop lineup, which was pretty good last season as it was. With the inclusion of Clay Robinson, Mike Houston and Aaron Pieratt from two of the best pit crews from the 2002 season, we feel we're made the positive moves we needed to make to help Dave and the Jasper team continue the progress we made in Dave's first season with us. And it's already paying off.
"I think I'm probably not alone in also thanking McDonald's and POWERade for creating a contingency program for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series pit crews on a weekly basis. It's long overdue to recognize the role these guys play in the success of their teams between the flags on Sunday. The drivers get recognition, but our sport is as much a team sport as the NFL, the NBA or Major League Baseball. And without a fast pit-crew, you don't have much chance of getting to Victory Lane on a regular basis. We're happy to be one of the first teams to win this."