Cronquist Captures Third MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder Of Race Award Of The Season
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 3, 2011) – A dominating performance and strong engine package in Saturday night’s Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway earned Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing the victory and a coveted post-race contingency award.
Busch led four times for a race-high 235 laps – including the final 84 – en route to a dominating win, his third consecutive spring Richmond race victory and 11th top-10 finish in 13 races at the 3/4-quarter mile oval.
Powerful horsepower under-the-hood of the No. 18 M&M's Pretzel Toyota earned Joe Gibbs Racing’s head engine builder Mark Cronquist his third MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race Award of the season, based on points awarded for qualifying and finishing position. Bonus points are awarded to the team that leads the most laps in the event.
The award is 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.
Cronquist and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team currently stand in second place with 95 total points in the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award standings, nabbing one top-three starting position and leading the most laps during a race three times this season. JGR is just a mere seven points behind Roush Yates Engines (102 points) whose No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing team has produced four top-three starting positions including two Coors Light Pole Awards. At the conclusion of the season, the engine builder who has accumulated the greatest number of "MAHLE Clevite Points" will be recognized during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week year-end celebration.
"We’re proud to have our team win the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder Award this weekend.
“We’re proud to have our team win the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder Award this weekend,” said Mark Cronquist, Joe Gibbs Racing’s head engine builder. “This award is really a tribute to everyone in our engine department as well as the guys in the shop and at the track who work hard every week to put the best possible car on the track.”
Conserving enough fuel and easily holding off JGR teammate Denny Hamlin in the closing laps of Saturday's race, Busch’s win was his 21st victory in 231 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race starts and his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2011.
“It was a really good evening for us,” said Busch post-race. “We always tend to have good race cars here. That's just a testament to all of Joe Gibbs Racing, Dave Rogers, the guys that give us great equipment, Toyota, TRD. Good car, great job by the crew chief and the team tonight.”
With the win, Busch moved up three spots to third, 30 points back of leader Carl Edwards in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings heading into the SHOWTIME Southern 500 on Sat., May 7th at Darlington Raceway.
Official winners of this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:
· AMERICAN ETHANOL GREEN FLAG RESTART: Denny Hamlin
· COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Juan Pablo Montoya (128.639 mph, 20.989 secs.)
· DIRECTV CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE AWARD: Shane Wilson (crew chief for Clint Bowyer)
· GOODYEAR GATORBACK BELTS FASTEST LAP AWARD: Juan Pablo Montoya (126.109 mph, Lap 3)
· MAHLE CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE AWARD: Mark Cronquist, No. 18, JGR
· MOBIL 1 OIL DRIVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Kasey Kahne
· MOOG CHASSIS PARTS PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Bob Osborne (crew chief for Carl Edwards, 0.122 secs.)
· O’REILLY AUTO PARTS POSITION IMPROVEMENT AWARD: David Ragan (23 places)
· SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Andy Lally