Red Bull Cheever Racing wins Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 22, 2003) -- Red Bull Cheever Racing pulled off a stunning upset Thursday to win the 27th Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge before the 87th Indianapolis...
Red Bull Cheever Racing wins Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 22, 2003) -- Red Bull Cheever Racing pulled off a stunning upset Thursday to win the 27th Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge before the 87th Indianapolis 500.
Led by team manager Max Jones and chief mechanic David Meehan, the Red Bull Cheever Racing crew performed two consecutive pit stops under 9 seconds, capped by a championship round win over pole winner Helio Castroneves and his Marlboro Team Penske crew.
In all, Red Bull Cheever Racing beat three of the great names of Indy - Andretti, Unser and Penske - to win the championship.
"I'm so proud of these guys," Jones said. "These guys have been working so hard. It's an opportunity for them to showcase their talent. Things will happen on Sunday that we can't control, but they proved that they can take care of the things they do have control over."
The Red Bull Cheever Racing crew put themselves and driver Buddy Rice in the championship round with a semifinal-round win over Al Unser Jr. and his Kelley Racing crew. That round included a stop clocked at 8.992 seconds.
"They worked hard all winter to beat Penske," team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. said. "It's one of the best teams out there. We're very happy. This will last until the start of the race, then it's back to business again. This is a great day for us. We beat probably the best team in the pits. We're very ready to compete in the race."
The Red Bull Cheever team beat Dreyer & Reinbold's Robbie Buhl in the first round and Andretti Green Racing's Michael Andretti in the second round. Facing Penske's crew in the final of the 12-team tournament, Red Bull Cheever Racing posted its fastest stop of the day - 8.8401 seconds.
"This is a major boost - a huge accomplishment," said Rob Channell, the team's vent/jack man. "This shows what we've done with our pit stops. Our guys have really hung together and practiced hard. We practiced specifically for this competition. We couldn't have beaten a better team in the final round. They're as good as they come."
Members of Red Bull Cheever Racing's pit crew are:
Team manager: Max Jones, Long Beach, Calif.
Chief mechanic: David Meehan, Auckland, New Zealand
Right-front tire: Todd Tapply, Denver, Colo.
Left-front tire: Josh Junge, Keystone, Iowa
Right-rear tire: Craig McCain, Arvada, Colo.
Left-rear tire: Joe Hedges, Hagerstown, Ind.
Vent-jack: Rob Channell, Altoona, Iowa
Fueler: Dave Bishop, Eau Claire, Mich.
First round-Red Bull Cheever Racing (9.9075 seconds) beat Dreyer and Reinbold Racing's Robbie Buhl (10.3599)
Second round-Red Bull Cheever Racing beat Andretti Green Racing's Michael Andretti by forfeit
Semifinal round-Red Bull Cheever Racing (8.9962) beat Kelley Racing's Al Unser Jr. (9.411)
Championship-Red Bull Cheever Racing (8.8401) beat Marlboro Team Penske's Helio Castroneves (9.1341)