CHAMPCAR/CART: Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge Final at Fontana

FONTANA, Calif. -- The heart pounding, adrenaline-pumping excitement of racing isn't just on the track - a race among the pit crews also has been fueling the need for speed and the finish line is just around the final turn. Craftsman...

FONTANA, Calif. -- The heart pounding, adrenaline-pumping excitement of racing isn't just on the track - a race among the pit crews also has been fueling the need for speed and the finish line is just around the final turn. Craftsman will present the first-ever Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge Trophy and a check for $50,000 to the fastest Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) pit crew, determined in a special final competition among the season's top teams at the upcoming season-ending race in Fontana. "Pit crews are an integral part of every race team," said John A. Lebbad, director of event marketing and sales promotion for Sears. "That's why we created a program to honor the work they do to safely and efficiently get their driver back on the track. The Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge is a true example of teamwork." Run all season long, the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge has been awarding points to each team in CART's FedEx Championship Series based on the amount of time spent in the pits. The less time in the pits, the more points each team earns. Total points awarded to a team are based on the first 19 races. The top four qualifying pit crews for the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge are Team Rahal (Max Papis - 161 points), Team KOOL Green (Paul Tracy - 151 points), Target/Chip Ganassi (Juan Montoya - 148 points) and Newman/Haas Racing (Michael Andretti - 143 points). On Thursday, Oct. 28 at the California Speedway, these teams will compete against one another at 3:00 p.m. for one of two coveted spots in the final, head-to-head pit stop championship competition. Under the scrutiny of CART officials and with timing from Omega Timing & Scoring, the finalists will simulate pit stops under full race conditions. The fastest team will be named the Craftsman Pit Crew Champions and claim the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge Trophy, a $50,000 cash bonus and the honor of wearing the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge Championship logo on their uniforms during the 2000 CART season. The trophy was created by Waterford Crystal of Waterford, Ireland. Valued at $16,000, it took two months to design and another month to carve. It will be presented along with a $50,000 check to the winning team. "As the competition in Champ Car racing has become closer and closer, good pit stops have become more and more crucial," said three-time PPG Cup winner and Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal. "A season-long competition like the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge recognizes the value of our crews and the work they do, and gives them even more incentive to save that fraction of a second that can be the difference between winning and losing." "Champ Car racing pit stops are some of the most intense and exciting moments in sports," said Andrew Craig, CART chairman and CEO. "The Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge is a terrific addition to our sport, and honors the crew members who so often provide the difference between a first- and second-place finish." "The Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge is a great idea. It highlights the unsung heroes of our sport," said Derrick Walker, owner of Walker Racing. "The key element of winning today is the pit stops. This program highlights the competition in the pits and adds further excitement to our events."

-CART-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Chip Ganassi