No. 18 pit crew finishes first at Kansas

Bobby Labonte's Pit Crew captures Kansas win; points championship tightens with six races remaining The No. 18 crew for Bobby Labonte's Interstate Batteries team notched its third victory in the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by...

Bobby Labonte's Pit Crew captures Kansas win; points championship tightens with six races remaining

The No. 18 crew for Bobby Labonte's Interstate Batteries team notched its third victory in the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade by taking first-place honors at Sunday's Banquet 400 in Kansas City, Kan.

Labonte's crew narrowly defeated its Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and last week's winner (in Talladega) -- the No. 20 Home Depot crew for Tony Stewart. Labonte's Chevrolet spent 178.515 seconds on the Kansas Speedway pit road compared to 182.148 for Stewart's Chevrolet.

"That's awesome," said Paul Alepa, team trainer and pit crew coordinator for Joe Gibbs Racing. "We were just talking earlier todayhow cool it would be to someday have the No. 18 and the No. 20teamsfinish one and two, so to find out it happened in Kansas is just great. It's a tribute to the guys and how hard they are working.They practice every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as a lot of Wednesdays and all the hard work is paying off."

Labonte's pit crew, which scored back-to-back victories earlier in the season at Martinsville and California, has now earned $60,000 ($20,000 for each win) and is within striking distance for the season championship and the $200,000 bonus that goes with the title.

With six races remaining, Michael Waltrip's No. 15 crew continues to lead the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade with 1047 points. Dale Earnhardt Jr's crew is second, 36 points behind at 1011. Kurt Busch's team is third (1002) and Labonte's crew is fourth (1001).

Labonte's team got back into the mix by picking up 24 points on Waltrip's team in Kansas. Labonte's crew earned the maximum 43 points while Waltrip's crew earned 19 points for finishing 25th.

"We have a deficit to overcome (46 points), but it's still possible to grab that title and the $200,000 purse," said Michael "Fatback" McSwain, crew chief for the No. 18 team. "The McDonald's/POWERade championship has sure been a great incentive for our pit crew."

Labonte's over-the-wall crew consists of: Jason Lee (jackman), Todd Meredith (front tire carrier), Mark Armstrong (front tire changer), Alan Copley (rear tire carrier), Barry Cook (rear tire changer), Tom Lampe (gasman) and Tom McCrimmon (catch can). The car chief is Scott Zipadelli and the windshield duties are handled by Adam von Olhausen.

How it Works
During each 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup points event, the participating team whose car spends the least amount of aggregate time off the race track will be named the weekly winner of the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE, provided the team's driver takes the green flag at the beginning of the event. A timing line at the entrance and exit of pit road triggers the car's transponder and records the total time spent off the race track.

The point distribution per race is: 43 for first place, descending in increments of one.

The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE is the largest monetary contingency program in NASCAR history.

<pre> Top 10 Pit Crews For Participating Teams in Sunday's (Oct. 5) Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway

                                Time (seconds)  Car#
1.  Bobby Labonte Team          178.515         18
2.  Tony Stewart Team           182.148         20
3.  Sterling Marlin Team        189.494         40
4.  Bill Elliott Team           199.160          9
5.  Dale Jarrett Team           232.018         88
6.  Jason Leffler Team          245.762          0
7.  Ricky Rudd Team             246.524         21
8.  Todd Bodine Team            247.478         54
9.  Jeff Burton Team            259.836         99
10. Steve Park Team             277.675         30

2003 Winners of The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade:

Daytona (2/16)          Michael Waltrip Team
Rockingham (2/23)       Dave Blaney Team
Las Vegas (3/2)         Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team
Atlanta (3/9)           Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team
Darlington (3/16)       Jeff Green Team (RCR)
Bristol (3/23)          Bill Elliott Team
Texas (3/30)            Robby Gordon Team
Talladega (4/6)         Bill Elliott Team
Martinsville (4/13)     Bobby Labonte Team
California (4/27)       Bobby Labonte Team
Richmond (5/3)          Jeff Burton Team
Charlotte (5/25)        Dale Jarrett Team
Dover (6/1)             Michael Waltrip Team
Pocono (6/8)            Todd Bodine Team
Michigan (6/15)         Sterling Marlin Team
Sonoma (6/22)           Robby Gordon Team
Daytona (7/5)           Jeff Burton Team
Chicago (7/13)          Michael Waltrip Team
New Hampshire (7/20)    Bill Elliott Team
Pocono (7/27)           Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team
Indianapolis (8/3)      Kurt Busch Team
Watkins Glen (8/10)     Elliott Sadler Team
Michigan (8/17)         Greg Biffle Team
Bristol (8/23)          Kurt Busch Team
Darlington (8/31)       Bill Elliott Team
Richmond (9/6)          Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team
N. Hampshire (9/14)     Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team
Dover (9/21)            Bill Elliott Team
Talladega (9/29)        Tony Stewart Team
Kansas (Oct. 5)         Bobby Labonte Team

Point Standings For NASCAR Winston Cup Teams Participating in The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE: (following Kansas 10/5/03; pit crew wins in parentheses)

Pos.    Car#    Pit Crew of                     Points  Prize Money
1        15     Michael Waltrip Team (3)        1047     60,000
2         8     Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team (5)     1011    100,000
3        97     Kurt Busch Team (2)             1002     40,000
4        18     Bobby Labonte Team (3)          1001     60,000
5        31     Robby Gordon Team (2)            980     40,000
6         9     Bill Elliott Team* (5)           955    100,000
7        40     Sterling Marlin Team (1)         945     20,000
8        42     Jamie McMurray Team              937
T9       20     Tony Stewart Team (1)            924     20,000
T9       38     Elliott Sadler Team (1)          924     20,000
11       16     Greg Biffle Team (1)             919     20,000
12       88     Dale Jarrett Team (1)            899     20,000
13       77     Dave Blaney Team (1)             896     20,000
T14      99     Jeff Burton (2)                  894     40,000
T14       1     (DEI Team)                       894
16       21     Ricky Rudd Team                  877
17       30     Steve Park Team (1)              854     20,000
18        7     Jimmy Spencer Team               833
19       01     Mike Skinner Team                823
T20      41     Casey Mears Team                 821
T20      54     Todd Bodine Team (1)             821     20,000
22       74     Tony Raines Team                 777
23        0     Jason Leffler Team               758
24       45     Kyle Petty Team                  749
25       49     Ken Schrader Team                733
26       43     (Petty Racing Team)              718
27       14     Larry Foyt Team                  323
28       09     Mike Wallace Team                216
29       11     Brett Bodine Team                144
30       02     Hermie Sadler Team               139
31       37     Derrick Cope Team                 94
32       57     Kevin Lepage Team                 76
33      150     (A.J. Foyt Racing)                64
34       44     (Petty Racing Team)               49

*joined program at fifth race of season -- Darlington, 3/16

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Steve Park , Jason Leffler , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Greg Biffle , Jeff Green , Kevin Lepage , Sterling Marlin , Robby Gordon , Mike Wallace , Kurt Busch , Casey Mears , Larry Foyt , Tony Raines , Jamie McMurray , Hermie Sadler , Derrick Cope , Elliott Sadler , Dave Blaney , A.J. Foyt , Jason Lee
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing