USAR: Lakeland CS: Pit Crew Challenge preview

BFGoodrich Tires Pit Crew Challenge Set for USA Int'l Speedway Pro Cup Crews to take center stage Myrtle Beach, S.C.-It's no secret that the competition level in the Hooters Pro Cup Series reached an all-time high on the race track, but the ...

BFGoodrich Tires Pit Crew Challenge Set for USA Int'l Speedway
Pro Cup Crews to take center stage

Myrtle Beach, S.C.-It's no secret that the competition level in the Hooters Pro Cup Series reached an all-time high on the race track, but the competition on pit road reached a crescendo as well.

With fields separated by less than half a second, Pro Cup teams know that it's easier to pass in the pits than on the track.

It's becoming commonplace to see teams send their drivers back on the track in under 18 seconds. And while the drivers are usually the centerpiece of Victory Lane, come Nov. 25, the Pro Cup pit crews will take center stage and possibly a $3,000 winner's check.

Prior to the running of the season-finale Hooters 300 at USA Int'l Speedway, the top five teams from both the Southern and Northern Divisions during the regular season and the top rookie drivers from both divisions are be eligible to compete in the 2006 BFGoodrich Tires Pit Crew Challenge.

Last season, the JR Motorsports team took the challenge with a 24.004-second stop, which included a two-second penalty.

"This crew is just unreal," said Jefferson Hodges, former JR Motorsports crew chief. "They practice twice a week on their on. We don't have the [Nextel] Cup team that most people think. These guys have worked their butt off all year."

While Hodges won't be back in competition this year, JR Motorsports will be trying to repeat as champions.

Since the inception of the challenge in 2002, no Pro Cup crew has been able to win the title more than once.

In inaugural Pit Crew Challenge, XTRA Motorsports was able to secure the title for Shane Huffman 2002. The following season, Premiere Motorsports picked up the title. Lamb & Robinson Motorsports won the title in 2004.

With XTRA Motorsports no longer around and Premiere Motorsports not eligible, JR Motorsports and Lamb & Robinson Motorsports will be trying to become the first repeat winner of the competition.

But it won't be easy with the amount of quality crews in the competition.

Joey Logano's Joe Gibbs Racing Oil crew and Benny Gordon's Predator Performance crew should contend for the title as well.

The teams competing in the competition will be allowed to use a maximum of six crewmembers during the stop and must make a four-tire stop. Timing of the stop will start when the nose of the car crosses the line marking the pit stall and stop when the nose crosses the ending line on exit. The crews will not be able to cross the pit stall until the car comes to a complete stop.

If the crew crosses the pit wall too early, a 10-second penalty will be added to the finishing time. Ten seconds will also be added to all teams that leave equipment on the left side of the car, run over the air hose or pit out of the stall. Two seconds will be added per each loose lug nut that is not tightened to 60 ft. lbs, placing a premium on precision as much as speed.

Eligible Teams

The No. 06s USG Sheetrock Brand Crew
Driver: Bobby Gill
Jackman: Doug Ingold
Front Tire Changer: Greg Price
Front Tire Carrier: Ryan Patterson
Rear Tire Changer: Joseph Christian
Rear Tire Carrier: Ron Bennington
Sign Man: Tommy Archer

The No. 44s Automotive Development Group Crew
Driver: Clay Rogers
The team is eligible but will not compete in this year's event.

The No. 80n Champion Spark Plugs Crew
Driver: Johnny Rumley
Jackman: Rick Mace
Front Tire Changer: Chris Letourneau
Front Tire Carrier: J.C. Marchant
Rear Tire Changer: Shane Rabon
Rear Tire Carrier: Stephen Gonzales
Sign Man: Aaron Hoover

The No. 55n Dean Motorsports Crew
Driver: Woody Howard
Jackman: Dave Tallman
Front Tire Changer: Chris Cochran
Front Tire Carrier: Frankie Costa
Rear Tire Changer: Shawn Gardner
Rear Tire Carrier: Lee Dodson
Sign Man: Jim Dean

The No. 66n Predator Performance Crew
Driver: Benny Gordon
Jackman: Mark Bowley
Front Tire Changer: Ryan Gordon
Front Tire Carrier: Evan Stoyek
Rear Tire Changer: Joe McKee
Rear Tire Carrier: Matt Bauman
Sign Man: Greg Murray

The No. 73n Mark IV Honda/Team 7 Crew
Driver: Jeff Agnew
Jackman: Jeff Tramel
Front Tire Changer: Tracy Thompson
Front Tire Carrier: Jody Harris
Rear Tire Changer: Doug Weddle
Rear Tire Carrier: Chris Heidt
Sign Man: Ebby Price

The No. 93n Ferguson Waterworks/RHR Crew
Driver: Jack Bailey
Jackman: Bobby Chubbic
Front Tire Changer: Thomas Hatcher
Front Tire Carrier: Eric Sidho
Rear Tire Changer: Sean Brierly
Rear Tire Carrier: Dominic McGrane
Sign Man: Chuck Butler

The No. 20n Speedco/Tony Stewart Racing Crew
Driver: Shelby Howard
Jackman: Eddie Kelley
Front Tire Changer: Tom Scott
Front Tire Carrier: Jeff Monroe
Rear Tire Changer: Mike Richie
Rear Tire Carrier: Adam Partlow
Sign Man: Bob Moore

The No. 38s E.M. Wallace Contractors Crew
Driver: Shane Wallace
Jackman: Josh Pech
Front Tire Changer: TBA
Front Tire Carrier: Brian Hennings
Rear Tire Changer: Austin Jones
Rear Tire Carrier: Steve Premo
Sign Man: James Snyder

The No. 51s Joe Gibbs Racing Oil Crew
Driver: Joey Logano
Jackman: Joel Weidman
Front Tire Changer: Doug Powers
Front Tire Carrier: Justin Saunders
Rear Tire Changer: Colin Fambrough
Rear Tire Carrier: Scott Merritt
Sign Man: Dave Rudy

The No. 22n Heritage Equipment Crew
Driver: Derek Kale
Jackman: Cody Sauls
Front Tire Changer: Blake Sauls
Front Tire Carrier: Blake Smith
Rear Tire Changer: Mike Heid
Rear Tire Carrier: Josh Stuckey
Sign Man: Billy Poindexter

The No. 29s McDonald's Drive Thru Crew
Driver: Trevor Bayne
Jackman: Ryan Osborne
Front Tire Changer: Scott Lail
Front Tire Carrier: Jeff O'Quinn
Rear Tire Changer: Matt Hayes
Rear Tire Carrier: Richard Beard
Sign Man: Jeff Kile

-credit: usar

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Tony Stewart , Clay Rogers , Tommy Archer , Trevor Bayne , Shelby Howard , Jack Bailey , Shane Huffman , Joey Logano , Ryan Patterson , Johnny R , Jeff Agnew
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing , JR Motorsports