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
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.