Bill Wilburn wins IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week

Sawing Through Adversity, No. 2 Crew Chief Bill Wilburn Takes Home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week Honors VERNON HILLS, Ill., May 28, 2002 - This week, the No. 2 Miller Lite racing team posted one of its best finishes of the 2002 season, both...

Sawing Through Adversity, No. 2 Crew Chief Bill Wilburn Takes Home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week Honors

VERNON HILLS, Ill., May 28, 2002 - This week, the No. 2 Miller Lite racing team posted one of its best finishes of the 2002 season, both at the finish line and in the pits. As a result, team crew chief Bill Wilburn takes home this week's "IRWIN Rough to the Finish" award for the team's efforts at the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, NC.

After starting in 31st position, Rusty Wallace, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, quickly made his way through the field, but was forced to pit during an early caution period due to an overheating problem. Tearing the tape off the front end wasn't enough to remedy the situation, so Wilburn ordered the crew to pump fresh water through the system on two occasions. This solved the problem, however now the team faced a potentially disastrous water leak, which was repaired during the night's third caution flag on lap 70.

Throughout the race, Wilburn and crew worked feverishly to get their chassis dialed in. At one point, Wallace fell a lap down due to the work on his car, but was quickly able to get the lap back after successfully racing race leader rookie Jimmie Johnson back to the line as another caution flag came out. From there, Wallace cruised to a tenth-place finish, his seventh top-ten of the season.

"We had to fight through some adversity several times during the race," said Wilburn. "We knew we had a strong car, but the breaks just didn't go our way this week. Rusty did a heck of a job battling today, and my hat's off to him and this whole crew for their efforts."

Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, IRWIN, makers of professional power tool accessories like MARATHON PLUS saw blades and SPEEDBOR flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish.

"IRWIN is proud to honor the hard-working crew chiefs of NASCAR Winston Cup Racing with this award," said Chris Connington, Vice President, Marketing, IRWIN. "Much like our line of bits and blades optimize a power tool's performance, these professionals have had to perform in all types of conditions, with many surprises and under intense pressure. Through the course of the race the selected crew has been able to optimize their car's performance."

The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Connie Parsons Memorial Fund in the racing team's name. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338.

In addition to the crew chief award, IRWIN is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show,"Fast Talk with Benny Parsons", throughout the upcoming year.

"Working with Benny Parsons and the PRN family is a natural fit for the IRWIN bits and blades line," said Connington. "The NASCAR fan-base is a hands-on group of people that are driven to do it themselves, if they can. IRWIN bits and blades are engineered to last long and provide precise cuts that will help professionals and DIYers do their best work."

IRWIN offers a complete line of saw blades and drill bits. From framing to the finest trim work; the performance of your bit and/or blade can be the difference between a long, hard day or one that runs smooth and easy. IRWIN specializes in the engineering and the manufacturing of these high performance bits and blades. Each is engineered to last, to deliver precision cuts and to optimize the output of your power tool. IRWIN drill bits includes SPEEDBOR wood boring bits, TURBOMAX drill bits, UNI-BIT step drill bits, and the unique IRWIN multi-purpose drill bits that penetrate various materials such as brick, marble, plastic, metal, cement and wood. A complete list of IRWIN products and capabilities is online at

IRWIN is a brand of American Tool Companies, Inc., a global manufacturer and marketer of top-quality hand tools, power tool accessories, clamping tools and marking tools. American Tool Companies employs more than 4,000 people at facilities in Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Maine, New York and in 11 other countries.

Other American Tool product lines include VISE-GRIP® locking tools, QUICK-GRIP® clamping tools, STRAIT-LINE® marking tools and RECORD® hand tools. For company information, customers can visit


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Jimmie Johnson , Benny Parsons