Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge Field Is Set Five Teams to Compete at California Speedway FONTANA, Calif. Five teams in the CART FedEx Championship Series will compete in a shootout to determine the 2001 champions of the Craftsman Pit Crew...
Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge Field Is Set
Five Teams to Compete at California Speedway
FONTANA, Calif. Five teams in the CART FedEx Championship Series will compete in a shootout to determine the 2001 champions of the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge at Fontana's California Speedway. The field for the winner-take-all contest to determine the fastest pit crew in CART was set following the final qualifying race in Australia, Oct. 28.
Four of the five teams made the finals by scoring points during the regular season according to their pit stop performance. Using a scoring system similar to CART's championship tabulation, points were awarded based on the time each team spent in the pits; less time in the pits meant more points.
Marlboro Team Penske No. 3 and driver Helio Castroneves amassed the most Craftsman points, while Marlboro Team Penske No. 1 finished second in Craftsman Pit Crew qualifying and clinched the 2001 CART championship for driver Gil de Ferran.
The performance of the two Marlboro Team Penske crews demonstrated the correlation between performance in the pits and results on the track.
"Part of our success each race weekend is due to the excellent work of our crews and I feel that our position in the points is a reflection of their effort and commitment," said de Ferran.
Third in Craftsman points was Shell Team Rahal No. 8. The pit crew for Kenny Brack did not win a Craftsman Pit Crew race, but kept their driver in the CART championship hunt by scoring Craftsman points in 12 races.
Fourth in Craftsman qualifying points was Sigma Autosport No. 22 with driver Oriol Servia. Servia's crew took top Craftsman honors three times during the season.
The fifth team in the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge shootout is PacWest Racing No. 17 with driver Mauricio Gugelmin. The PacWest No. 17 pit crew scored the most points in the 2001 Michigan 500, designated a "wild card" race in the Craftsman championship.
The five finalists will meet on Saturday, Nov. 3, the eve of the CART season finale, the Marlboro 500, to determine the third annual Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge championship.
The two previous Craftsman championships have been claimed by Paul Tracy's Team Kool Green No. 26, which did not qualify for the 2001 shootout.
In the shootout, each team will have two chances to make a perfect pit stop. Using race conditions and rules, the driver will enter the pits, stop in his designated pit stall where the crew will change four tires, then return to the track. The team with the single fastest pit stop will win the competition.
In the end, one pit crew will emerge as the best of the best, and take home a specially designed Waterford Crystal Craftsman championship trophy and a cash prize of $50,000.
Craftsman is the Official Tools of CART and has sponsored the Craftsman Pit Crew since 1999. Sears sells more than 1,800 Craftsman hand tools, all made in America and guaranteed forever. Sears offers Craftsman tools, merchandise and related services through Sears full-line department stores and specialized retail locations including Sears Hardware, Sears dealer stores and Orchard Supply Hardware stores, as well as through specialty catalogs and online at www.sears.com.