ALL-STAR WEEKEND IS ALL FUN FOR M&M'SÂ® "CHOCOLATE THUNDER" PIT CREW CHARLOTTE, NC (May 17, 2005) -- This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competitors can put away their calculators as championship points will be the last thing on their...
ALL-STAR WEEKEND IS ALL FUN FOR M&M'S® "CHOCOLATE THUNDER" PIT CREW
CHARLOTTE, NC (May 17, 2005) -- This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competitors can put away their calculators as championship points will be the last thing on their mind. In fact, there are only two numbers that matter this weekend: one and one million. If you can finish in the number one spot in Saturday's NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, $1 million is your reward.
The All-Star event serves as the kickoff into the summer stretch of the 2005 season. It also provides a preview as to who could visit victory lane in the prestigious Coca-Cola 600, scheduled for Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Elliott Sadler and the M&M'S Racing Team have been focused on the "big picture" during the season as they strive to return to the Chase for the Championship. This race though is a one-shot deal and Sadler will rely on the strength of one of the best crews on pit road to push him to the front, the M&M'S "Chocolate Thunder" Pit Crew.
Quoting M&M'S® Driver Elliott Sadler:
"The All-Star race is definitely a race we look forward to each season because there's no holding back. You are going for the win no matter what because second doesn't count in this race. Qualifying for the All-Star race is important and the pit stop is the most important part of that."
"I have to make sure I get on pit road perfect and then in and out of the pit box perfect. The guys have to perform a great stop because the time in the pits during qualifying will make or break your run. If I'm a tenth slower on the race track but our pit stop is a second faster then we've made up what we lost on the race track and then some. I enjoy the team participation in qualifying for the All-Star race because the drivers and crews have to lean on each other in order to sit on the pole. It's a great example of how we work together in the race every Sunday and it's great to give these guys some recognition."
"There's no doubt that we're out here this weekend to learn something for the (Coca-Cola) 600 but as a driver this is just an all-out race to the finish. Don't worry about points or the Chase or any of that. It's just a shootout to see who can finish first. The pit crews play a huge part in that. I know my team is up for the challenge because they have been awesome on pit road all year. We've really put a great team together this season and I'm excited for them to get to shot and prove what they can do this weekend."
Quoting M&M'S "Chocolate Thunder" Pit Crew Coach Andy Ward:
On the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge--
"The All-Star race is a cool race for the pit crews as well as the drivers because it's an all or nothing situation. We get to hang it out there on the edge a little more because we know there is just one shot at putting our car at the front and give Elliott a shot at racing for $1 million."
"It's also the only race where we play a role in qualifying. Now for some teams, they may view that as added pressure. I think to our team it is really more fun than anything because we're all competitive by nature. We thrive on the opportunity to showcase the talent of our team as well as the hard work they put in all year to be one of the best on pit road. So we really look forward to the pit stop in Friday's qualifying."
On the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Pit Crew Challenge--
"We're really thankful to NASCAR and NEXTEL to have the opportunity to showcase the talents of the team and the individual crew members. It's a great for our sport, sponsors and fans. I believe it really adds value to the job that these guys do on Sunday by spotlighting their ability. It would be great to win on Thursday night but we believe the most important victory for our team is the job we do week to week on pit road. To us the biggest accomplishment is to win races and get Elliott into the Chase."