Indianapolis, IN - ...
Indianapolis, IN - #51 Excite@Home Chief Mechanic Owen Snyder III has been selected as the 2000 recipient of the Premier/D-A Mechanical Achievement Award honoring the top Chief Mechanic of the Indianapolis 500. The award is presented annually to a Chief Mechanic who has made major contributions to the Indy 500 event.
The winner of the Premier award - the oldest and most prestigious Chief Mechanic Award at the Indianapolis 500, first awarded in 1959 - is selected by the crew chiefs of the 33 starters for the Indy 500, and is on display year-round in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Past recipients include George Bignotti, Clint Brawner, and Smokey Yunick.
"One of the things that I appreciate the most is that the award is voted on by my peers," noted Snyder, a nineteen-year veteran of Indianapolis 500 competition with two victories (1992 with Al Unser Jr. and 1998 with Cheever). "The other thing that I appreciate is the prestige of the award. With so many traditions being changed or broken, it's nice that Premier has continued this award for so many years."
"Generally, most awards are not won by one person, and I learned a long time ago in my racing career that if you are going to put all the hard work into it, you should make sure it's with the right driver and the right team," continued Snyder, who receives a $5000 cash award, commemorative plaque, and a Premier Master Tap and Drill Assortment in recognition of his achievement. "I've been very fortunate to have worked with top notch, very competitive teams. For everyone on the #51 Excite@Home team, winning is the number one priority, and I thank all my guys for their great work." Cheever commended Snyder - his Chief Mechanic since 1998 - for his efforts. "I am very proud of Owen," said Cheever. "He works very hard. The strength of our team lies in every individual, and everyone has an important role to play. As for Owen, I will be happy to have him engineer my car for as long as I am in racing."