Chad Knaus wins IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week award

Sawing through adversity, No. 48 Crew Chief Chad Kanus takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week honors. VERNON HILLS, Ill., October 2, 2002 - The No. 48 Lowe's racing team's performance had its ups and downs in Sunday's Protection One 400 ...

Sawing through adversity, No. 48 Crew Chief Chad Kanus takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week honors.

VERNON HILLS, Ill., October 2, 2002 - The No. 48 Lowe's racing team's performance had its ups and downs in Sunday's Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway. But thanks to a great pit strategy and some excellent driving, the Lowe's team left Kansas as the leader in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship standings, helping to earn team crew chief Chad Knaus this week's IRWIN "Rough to the Finish" award.

The Lowe's team ran the majority of the first half of Sunday's race in the top-five, until driver Jimmie Johnson radioed in to Knaus on lap 170 that he felt the right rear tire was going down. Johnson was forced to pit under green to change the tire, causing team Lowe's to go down one lap.

Following the pit stop, Johnson returned to his top-five form, turning fast lap times while making up valuable time on the leaders. Johnson finally was able to gain his lap back, but fuel mileage soon became an issue, forcing the team to pit with just 33 laps to go. Despite the turn of events, Johnson was able to salvage his 18th top-10 finish of the season and take an 11-point lead in the championship race.

"For us to finish in the top-10 after having a flat tire is a great accomplishment for this whole team," said Knaus. "It shows what teamwork and determination can do. Everybody in the pits is working hard each week; this award is a credit to their efforts week in and week out."

Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, IRWIN, makers of professional power tool accessories like MARATHON saw blades and SPEEDBOR flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief that had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish.

"IRWIN is proud to honor the hard-working crew chiefs of NASCAR Winston Cup Racing with this award," said David Pirkle of IRWIN. "Much like our line of bits and blades optimize a power tool's performance, these professionals have had to perform in all types of conditions, with many surprises and under intense pressure. Through the course of the race the selected crew has been able to optimize their car's performance."

The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team's name. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338.

In addition to the crew chief award, IRWIN is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons", throughout the 2002 season.

"Working with Benny Parsons and the PRN family is a natural fit for the IRWIN bits and blades line," said Pirkle. "The NASCAR fan-base is a hands-on group of people that are driven to do it themselves, if they can. IRWIN bits and blades are engineered to last long and provide precise cuts that will help professionals and DIYers do their best work."

IRWIN offers a complete line of saw blades and drill bits. From framing to the finest trim work; the performance of your bit and/or blade can be the difference between a long, hard day or one that runs smooth and easy. IRWIN specializes in the engineering and the manufacturing of these high performance bits and blades. Each is engineered to last, to deliver precision cuts and to optimize the output of your power tool. IRWIN drill bits includes SPEEDBOR wood boring bits, TURBOMAX drill bits, UNI-BIT step drill bits, and the unique IRWIN multi-purpose drill bits that penetrate various materials such as brick, marble, plastic, metal, cement and wood. A complete list of IRWIN products and capabilities is online at www.irwintool.com.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Benny Parsons , Chad Knaus