Stewart-Haas Teams Take Home Two Post Race Awards And Two Top-10 Finishes CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 29, 2010) -- Strategic calls on the pit box and hard driving helped both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams from Stewart-Haas Racing to collect two ...
Stewart-Haas Teams Take Home Two Post Race Awards And Two Top-10 Finishes
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 29, 2010) -- Strategic calls on the pit box and hard driving helped both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams from Stewart-Haas Racing to collect two post-race contingency awards to go along with their top-10 finishes on Sunday at the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Strategic moves by crew chief Tony Gibson of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet proved key to winning Gibson's second DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race Award, presented to the crew chief of the driver who demonstrates the best qualifying and race effort as determined by the average of qualifying result and race finish.
Likewise, hard driving, pit stop timing and some good fortune enabled Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet to come as far back as 33rd to capture the runner-up spot and the O'Reilly Auto Parts Position Improvement Award presented to the eligible driver who improves the most positions from their starting position to their finishing position.
The awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.
For Newman, the strong qualifying effort had the No. 39 starting fifth with the same car that won earlier this season at Phoenix International Raceway. After battling some handling adjustments throughout the majority of the race, Gibson's decision to pit twice during the long green flag runs and take four Goodyear tires and make adjustments improved the handling of the car and thus Newman's position on the track. With just 20 laps remaining, Gibson pulled the No. 39 into the pits for two tires and air pressure and returned Newman to the track in eighth place, where he avoided trouble during an incident on track and brought the car home sixth.
"The Haas Automation Chevrolet was really a good car all day," said Tony Gibson, crew chief of the No. 39. "We really only had to make minor adjustments that helped Ryan to turn better in the corners. At the end, we had the choice to take four tires, two tires or to stay out, and we were confident that our car was good enough to make it on two tires so we were able to hold on to our track position.
"At the end of the race, the track position was really the most important thing and our car was good enough that we took two tires and were able to restart in the top five. The pit crew did a great job, Ryan did a great job and it was really a team effort all the way around. We're definitely in the hunt for a spot in the Chase, and we have to make the most out of every one of these races. We're a team that doesn't give up and we're going to fight right up to the end, and we proved that at New Hampshire."
Stewart, who started 25th, found himself back in the pack early but was able to make his way back up to the top five during a 201-lap green flag run. Just when Stewart had to relinquish track position due to off-sequence pit stops, a caution on Lap 240 and a call by crew chief Darian Grubb to stay out on the track enabled the No. 14 to get back on the lead lap and set up the push to the front.
"I appreciate everybody's work at Stewart-Haas," said team owner Tony Stewart. "Nobody has quit on this deal and we all just dug deeper." The last time both Stewart-Haas Racing cars finished in the top 10 was October 2009 at Martinsville Speedway. The Stewart-Haas Racing teams return to Daytona International Speedway for
the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola (8 p.m. ET; TNT). Stewart has won four of the last 10 races at Daytona International Speedway including last year's Coke Zero 400. He has also claimed three consecutive victories in the February NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Daytona and recorded a top-10 finish at the 2009 Daytona 500. Teammate Ryan Newman won the Daytona 500 two years ago.
Official winners of this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:
* COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Juan Pablo Montoya (132.337 mph. 28.781 secs.)
* DIRECTV CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE AWARD: Tony Gibson (crew chief for No. 39 Ryan Newman)
* GOODYEAR GATORBACK BELTS FASTEST LAP AWARD: Juan Pablo Montoya (128.784 mph, Lap 4)
* MAHLE CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE AWARD: Hendrick Engines (No. 48)
* MOBIL 1 "COMMAND RFORMANCE DRIVER OF THE RACE" AWARD: Kurt Busch
* MOOG CHASSIS PARTS PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Gil Martin (crew chief for Kevin Harvick)
* O'REILLY AUTO PARTS POSITION IMPROVEMENT AWARD: Tony Stewart (23 places)
* RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Kevin Conway
* SUNOCO DIAMOND PERFORMANCE AWARD: Jimmie Johnson
* TISSOT "PIT ROAD PRECISION" AWARD: Jeff Gordon (172.661 sec.)
* WIX FILTERS LAP LEADER AWARD: Kasey Kahne (110 laps)
About the NASCAR Prize Money & Decal Program
The NASCAR Prize Money & Decal Program, commonly referred to as the contingency program, is administered by the NASCAR Automotive Group. The program strives to build strong relationships with high-quality, performance-driven brands that are leaders in their respective categories and award money to NASCAR teams via per-race and year-end postings. Competitors become eligible for awards money by displaying partner decals on the front fender of their race vehicles and, in some instances, use of a sponsor's product. National series contingency sponsors will contribute over $8.8 million to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams in 2010.