No. 8 Pit Crew wins in Rockingham

Dale Jr.'s Pit Crew Wins in Rockingham; No. 8 Team Leads in McDonald's/POWERade Points The pit crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. edged Sterling Marlin's crew to claim first place in the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade at ...

Dale Jr.'s Pit Crew Wins in Rockingham; No. 8 Team Leads in McDonald's/POWERade Points

The pit crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. edged Sterling Marlin's crew to claim first place in the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade at Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race in Rockingham, N.C.

The Rockingham victory paid $20,000 and lifted the No. 8 pit crew into the points lead.

Being in first place is nothing new for Earnhardt'screw. The No. 8 team, part of DEI's multi-car operation, collected the $200,000 bonus for winning the inaugural McDonald's/POWERade pit crew season championship in 2003.

The 2004 pit crew champion will also collect $200,000 at the season-ending Awards Banquet in New York.

Earnhardt's Chevy was a hair quicker on Rockingham's pit road than Marlin's Dodge. The No. 8 Budweiser machine spent 301.939 seconds off the track compared to 302.233 seconds for Marlin's Coors Light Dodge. Third was Jamie McMurray's No. 42 Texaco Dodge with a time of 302.613.

Dale Jr., who leads in the Nextel Cup driver standings, was quick to give credit to his team for his fifth-place finish in Rockingham.

"We feel like a top-five here at Rockingham is almost like a win," said Earnhardt in post-race interviews. "We didn't have a great car, but we made changes during every stop and the car got better and better. If your crew can't make the right changes and get you in and out fast, you have no chance at Rockingham. We had great strategy all day and took advantage of the yellow flags.

"I told (car chief) Tony Jr. on the radio to ignore me if I started begging to come in and change tires. It's so hard here to hang onto the car when the tires go away, but the guys in the pits made the right calls. It paid off for us."

Earnhardt's over-the-wall crew consists of: Bill Snyder (gasman), Kevin Pennell (jackman), Phil Drye (front tire changer), Danny Earnhardt (front tire carrier), Shannon Myers (rear tire changer), Troy Prince (rear tire carrier), Craig Lund (catch can). Tony Eury Sr. is the crew chief and the car chief is Tony Eury Jr. The pit crew coach at DEI is Walt Smith.

<pre> Top 10 Pit Crews For Participating Teams in Sunday's (Feb. 22) NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham

    Team                        Time               Car#  Points
1.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team     301.939 seconds    8     43
2.  Sterling Marling Team       302.233 "          40    42
3.  Jamie McMurray Team         302.613 "          42    41
4.  Ricky Rudd Team             315.254 "          21    40
5.  Kurt Busch Team             320.976 "          97    39
6.  Kevin Harvick Team          338.576 "          29    38
7.  Johnny Sauter Team          344.227 "          30    37
8.  Elliott Sadler Team         345.484 "          38    36
9.  Kasey Kahne Team            351.103 "           9    35
10. Ward Burton Team            381.582 "           0    34

2004 Winners of The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade:

Event                   Team
Daytona (2/15)          Tony Stewart Team
Rockingham (2/22)       Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team

Point Standings for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Teams Participating in The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE: (following Rockingham 02/22/04; pit crew wins in parentheses)

Pos.  Car#  Pit Crew of                 Points  Prize Money
1     8     Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team (1) 85      20,000
2     21    Ricky Rudd Team             80
3     38    Elliott Sadler Team         77
4     29    Kevin Harvick Team          76
5     20    Tony Stewart Team (1)       75      20,000
6     97    Kurt Busch Team             70
7     0     Ward Burton Team            68
8     41    Casey Mears Team            65
9     30    Johnny Sauter Team          64
T-10  16    Greg Biffle Team            63
T-10  01    Joe Nemechek Team           63
12    40    Sterling Marlin Team        62
T-13  1     John Andretti Team          59
T-13  42    Jamie McMurray Team         59
15    18    Bobby Labonte Team          57
16    19    Jeremy Mayfield Team        54
17    45    Kyle Petty Team             52
18     9    Kasey Kahne Team            50
19    14    Larry Foyt Team             47
20    43    Jeff Green Team             46
T-21  50    Derrike Cope Team           44
T-21  88    Dale Jarrett Team           44
23    49    Ken Schrader Team           42
T-24  15    Michael Waltrip Team        38
T-24  31    Robby Gordon Team           38
T-26  23    Dave Blaney Team            37
T-26  09    Johnny Benson Team          37
28    99    Jeff Burton Team            34
29    33    Mike Skinner Team           33
30    7     Jimmy Spencer Team          30
31    280   Andy Hillenburg Team        28
32    146   Carl Long Team              18
33    72    Kirk Shelmerdine Team       15

</pre> How it Works
During each 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL 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.


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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , John Andretti , Jeff Burton , Ward Burton , Derrike Cope , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle , Jeff Green , Sterling Marlin , Robby Gordon , Kurt Busch , Casey Mears , Johnny Benson , Larry Foyt , Jamie McMurray , Andy Hillenburg , Kirk Shelmerdine , Johnny Sauter , Kasey Kahne , Carl Long , Elliott Sadler , Dave Blaney , Tony Eury Jr.