Rockingham II: No. 20 Pit Crew Competition preview

The Home Depot Pit Crew readies for 2002 Union 76 Pit Crew Competition. ATLANTA (Oct. 29, 2002) - The pit crew members of the ...

The Home Depot Pit Crew readies for 2002 Union 76 Pit Crew Competition.

ATLANTA (Oct. 29, 2002) - The pit crew members of the #20 Home Depot Racing Team prepare to nab a second pit crew championship for NASCAR Winston Cup Series team owner Joe Gibbs in Saturday's Union 76 Pit Crew Competition at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Gibbs, who also owns the #18 team of Winston Cup driver Bobby Labonte, watched as that outfit took home the pit crew championship in 1999.

The following is a profile of each member of The Home Depot pit crew, five of whom have been members of teams that have previously won the Union 76 Pit Crew Competition. Mike Lingerfelt, the #20 team's front tire changer, won the competition in 1998 as a front tire changer with the #31 team of Richard Childress Racing. Chuck White, the #20 team's jack man, won the competition in 2000 as a jack man with the #99 team of Roush Racing. Todd Foster, the #20 team's rear tire changer, also won the competition in 2000 as a rear tire changer with the #99 team. Jerold Shires, the #20 team's tire specialist, won the competition in 1997 as a rear tire changer with Bill Elliott Racing. And Jeff Chandler, who provides pit support to the #20 team, was the front tire changer on the #18 team when they won the pit crew championship.

Greg Zipadelli
Pit Stop Duties: Crew Chief
Joined Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) following the 1998 Winston Cup season...Has been with the #20 team since its inception...Currently in his fourth year as a Winston Cup crew chief with 15 wins, six poles, 55 top-five finishes and 86 top-10 finishes...Before joining JGR, worked as the chassis specialist on the #99 Roush Racing team of Jeff Burton for the 1998 season - his first job in Winston Cup...Prior to Winston Cup career, led Mike McLaughlin to the 1988 NASCAR Modified Tour championship at the age of 20...Won five NASCAR Busch North Series races with McLaughlin between 1990 and 1993... Scored second NASCAR championship as a crew chief with Mike Stefanik in the Busch North Series in 1997.

Paul Alepa
Joined JGR on a part-time basis at the beginning of the 1999 Winston Cup season, implementing a fitness and weight lifting regimen to the #20 and #18 teams on Monday and Wednesday nights...Became full-time in January of 2001 when he was named pit stop coordinator...Before joining JGR, served as a weight room assistant with the NFL's Carolina Panthers...First joined the Panthers in 1996 as an intern, worked pro bono for the Panthers in 1997 before becoming the weight room assistant in 1998...Served as the fitness consultant for the Top Cats, the Panthers' dance squad from 1997-2000...Graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) with a bachelor's degree in health fitness in May of 1997...Transferred to UNCC from Arizona State University before his senior year at the behest of Coy Gibbs - Joe Gibbs' youngest son...Has been friends with Coy since seventh grade, and when Coy was a senior at Stanford, Coy talked him into moving to Charlotte...This is his first job in racing.

Mike Lingerfelt
Pit Stop Duties: Front Tire Changer
Joined JGR following the 1998 Winston Cup season...Has been with the #20 team since its inception...Started changing front tires on the #20 car toward the end of the 1999 season...Missed majority of 2000 season rehabilitating a fractured left femur sustained in a pit road accident during the season-opening Daytona 500...Before joining JGR, worked as the front tire changer for the #31 Richard Childress Racing team of Mike Skinner in 1998 - his first job in Winston Cup...Was a member of the 1998 Union 76 Pit Crew Championship winning team...Prior to Winston Cup career, worked at Stegall Motorsports (Busch Series) with Shane Hall as a mechanic and tire changer in 1995...Worked for KEL Racing (Busch Series) with Jason Keller as a mechanic and tire changer from 1996-1997... Races a dirt modified at Riverside Speedway in Travelers Rest, S.C., whenever his schedule permits.

Tom Dean
Pit Stop Duties: Front Tire Carrier/Pulls Tape from Grill
Joined JGR following the 1998 season...Has been with the #20 team since its inception...Before joining JGR, worked with the IROC Series from 1995-1998...The Tinton Falls, N.J.-based series was an hour and 20 minutes from the Long Valley, N.J., native's home...Prior to working with IROC, toiled at a Pontiac dealership in Flemington, N.J.

Chuck White
Pit Stop Duties: Jack Man
Joined JGR following the 2001 season... Not a full-time employee of JGR, as White's full-time job is working for the North Carolina Department of Transportation as a civil engineer...Before joining JGR, worked as the jack man on the #99 Roush Racing team of Jeff Burton (1999-2001)...Was a member of the 2000 Union 76 Pit Crew Championship winning team...Prior to working with Roush, was the jack man with the now defunct #46 Team Sabco operation with drivers Wally Dallenbach and Jeff Green (1997-1998)...Team Sabco was White's first job in Winston Cup, as then crew chief Brad Noffsinger initially recruited White from a Kannapolis, N.C., gym to change tires, but when the team's jack man quit, White was tabbed for the position.

Todd Foster
Pit Stop Duties: Rear Tire Changer
Joined JGR in following 2001 season...Began work at JGR as the front tire changer for the #18 team of Bobby Labonte, but was moved to the #20 team in May of 2002 to serve as the team's rear tire changer...Before joining JGR, worked as the rear tire changer on the #99 Roush Racing team of Jeff Burton (Aug. 2000-Dec. 2001)...Was a member of the 2000 Union 76 Pit Crew Championship winning team...Prior to working with Roush, was the rear tire changer for the Jasper Motorsports team and driver Robert Pressley (Jan. 2000-Aug. 2000)...Worked with Cale Yarborough Motorsports and driver Rick Mast in 1999 - Foster's first job in Winston Cup...Moved from Birmingham to Charlotte, N.C., in 1998 after working for Bradberry Racing, a Legacy Racing Series operation...Spent 1997 working in ARCA with Carroll Racing and driver Jimmy Kitchens...Upon graduating high school, worked with driver Stanley Smith in various Late Model, Busch Series and Winston Cup endeavors between 1989-1993...When Smith was seriously injured following an accident at Talladega, Ala., in 1993, Foster worked for Smith's drywall company from 1993-1997.

Jay Barry
Pit Stop Duties: Rear Tire Carrier
Joined JGR following the 1999 season...Before joining JGR, worked as a mechanic and tire changer on the #26 Roush Racing team of Johnny Benson (Winston Cup) and the #60 Roush Racing team of Mark Martin (Busch Series) throughout the 1999 season...Prior to working with Roush, spent two years with Akins/Sutton Motorsports (Busch Series)...Not a full-time employee of JGR, as Barry owns his own company - AirBorn Coatings - a maker of industrial coatings since 1994 with over 120 employees.

Jeff "Gooch" Patterson
Pit Stop Duties: Gas Man
Joined JGR following the 1998 season...First began with JGR's #44 Busch Series team as second gas man and Tony Stewart's motorcoach driver...Has been with the #20 team since its inception...Before joining JGR, worked with Ranier-Walsh Racing as the transporter driver and gas man for the #20 car of Greg Sacks (Winston Cup) and the #15 car of Tony Stewart (Busch Series)...Prior to Winston Cup career, worked as a mechanic for a variety of World of Outlaws teams.

Brian "Shaggy" Larson
Pit Stop Duties: Catch Can Man
Joined JGR midway through the 1997 season...Began working as a fabricator on the #18 car and changing front tires on the #44 car in the Busch Series...Has been with the #20 team since its inception...Has been a fabricator and tire changer for over 12 years...Before joining JGR, spent two months with Team SABCO in 1997 before spending six months with American Equipment Racing 1997...Worked with Joe Nemechek en route to the 1992 Busch Series title, stayed with Nemechek through the 1996 season...Worked as a mechanic and fabricator with Bobby Dotter Racing (Busch Series) from 1988-1991.

Scott "Scooter" Crowell
Pit Stop Duties: Second Gas Man
Joined JGR after the 1999 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte...#20 team went on to win back-to-back races at Dover, Del., and Michigan upon Crowell's arrival...Before joining JGR, spent five months with Mattei Motorsports and Michael Waltrip as a fabricator, mechanic, second truck driver and gas man...Worked with Hendrick Motorsports on the #25 team as a truck driver and gas man from 1998-1999...Spent seven months at Petty Enterprises with driver John Andretti as a truck driver and tire specialist in 1997...Worked with Northstar Motorsports and Jeremy Mayfield in the Busch Series as a mechanic and part-time truck driver at the beginning of 1997...Worked with Cale Yarborough Motorsports and Mayfield as a truck driver and second gas man from 1995-1996.

Chris "Woody" Woodward
Pit Stop Duties: Pit Sign/Fuel Mileage
Joined JGR following the 1997 season...Worked with Stewart on the #44 Busch Series car in 1998 before advancing with Stewart to the #20 team...Has been with the #20 team since its inception...Before joining JGR, worked with a fledgling Busch Series team that closed its doors midway through the 1996 season...Prior to that, worked with a Busch North Series team owned by a New Hampshire car dealer...Has a degree in automotive technology from New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord.

Jason Shapiro
Pit Stop Duties: Cleans Grill/Catches Right Front Tire/Pit Security
Joined JGR following the 1998 season...Has been with the #20 team since its inception...Was the front tire changer for the majority of the 1999 season...Before joining JGR, worked with FILMAR Racing and Kenny Wallace throughout the 1998 season as car chief and front tire changer...Spent 1996-1997 with Brett Bodine Racing as a mechanic and front tire changer...Prior to Winston Cup career, served as crew chief for Glenn Sullivan in the Busch North Series.

Jeff Chandler
Pit Stop Duties: Pit Support -- Cleans Windshield/Gives Ice and Drink to Driver
Joined JGR following the 1995 Winston Cup season...Became the team's pit stop coordinator in 1997 while also working as a mechanic and changing front tires on the #18 car through the 2000 season... Was a member of the 1999 Union 76 Pit Crew Championship winning team...Retired as a tire changer upon the conclusion of the 2001 season...Had been a tire changer in Winston Cup for over 17 years...Before joining JGR, worked with RPM Motorsports and Ricky Rudd from 1994-1995; Worked with Bahari Racing and Michael Waltrip from 1991-1993; Worked with Stavola Brothers Racing and Bobby Hillin in 1990; Worked with Hendrick Motorsports and drivers Darrell Waltrip, Geoffrey Bodine and Ricky Rudd from 1987-1989; Worked with Dick Bahre Racing and Michael Waltrip in 1986...Prior to Winston Cup career, worked with Alan Kulwicki in the American Speed Association (ASA)...Won the ASA pit crew championship in 1985.

Jerold Shires
Pit Stop Duties: Pulls Front Air Hose/Tire Specialist
Joined JGR midway through the 1998 season...Has been with the #20 team since its inception...Was the rear tire changer for the #20 team during the 1999 and 2000 seasons before retiring... Had been a tire changer in Winston Cup for over 12 years...Before joining JGR, worked with Alan Kulwicki Racing from the fall of 1988-1991...Worked with Bahari Racing and Michael Waltrip from 1992-1995...Worked with Kranefuss-Hass and John Andretti/Jeremy Mayfield in 1996...Worked with Bill Elliott Racing in 1997 until July of 1998...Was a member of the 1997 Union 76 Pit Crew Championship winning team...Prior to Winston Cup career, earned a degree in diesel mechanics from the Watterson Institute of Technology in Charlotte.

Bill Byrne
Pit Stop Duties: Pulls Rear Air Hose/Catches Right Rear Tire
Joined JGR following the 1999 season...Attended 30 races as a part-time road crew member in 2000...Became full-time road crew member in 2001...Commutes to all races from his home in Marne, Mich...Before joining JGR, worked with the #26 of Roush Racing and driver Johnny Benson (Winston Cup) between 1998-1999...Spent 1996-1997 with Bahari Racing and Johnny Benson (Winston Cup)...While working with Bahari Racing and Roush Racing, pulled double duty in the American Speed Association working as a mechanic and jackman on the car of Dave Sensiba...During the week, works as a construction foreman for the Kent County (Mich.) Road Commission (a.k.a. Grand Rapids, Mich., D.O.T.).

-jgr/hdr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Wally Dallenbach , Bill Elliott , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Jason Keller , Mike Skinner , Geoffrey Bodine , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green , Shane Hall , Robert Pressley , Johnny Benson , Mike McLaughlin , Bobby Dotter , Coy Gibbs , Rick Mast , Brad Noffsinger , Greg Sacks , Mike Ling , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin , Alan Kulwicki
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Hendrick Motorsports , Joe Gibbs Racing