Chad Knaus wins "IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week" honors

In a day of firsts, No. 48 Crew Chief Chad Knaus takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week honors. VERNON HILLS, Ill., April 30, 2002 - This week, no one would doubt that Chad Knaus, crew chief of the No. 48 Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse ...

In a day of firsts, No. 48 Crew Chief Chad Knaus takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week honors.

VERNON HILLS, Ill., April 30, 2002 - This week, no one would doubt that Chad Knaus, crew chief of the No. 48 Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse Chevrolet, made the right call late in Sunday's NAPA Auto Parts 500 to help secure the team's first win of 2002. As a result of his successful pit strategy, Knaus is this week's winner of the "IRWIN Rough to the Finish" Award. It is the second time this year that he has won the award (Las Vegas - March 3).

Although the team started in the fourth position and remained in the top-10 throughout the entire race, Sunday was not trouble-free for Team Lowe's Racing. While it was the fastest car on the track, the Lowe's Chevy was also one of the loosest. The entire afternoon, Knaus made multiple changes on the car to tighten it up, but could never get it where they wanted. Despite this setback, Knaus was able to keep driver Jimmie Johnson in position for the win late in the race when he elected to take gas only on the team's final pit stop. A few laps later, Johnson took the lead and held off late charges by Kurt Busch and Ricky Rudd to secure his first career NASCAR Winston Cup victory.

"The Lowe's Chevy was great today," said Knaus, who also got his first NASCAR Winston Cup Victory as a crew chief. "We knew that we had a fast race car, but it came down to pit strategy and luckily things worked out our way. This Lowe's team is the best group of guys in Winston Cup right now. Coupled with one of the best young drivers in Jimmie Johnson, there's no telling how far we could go. This award is a testament to everyone, not just one individual."

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 Connie Parsons Memorial 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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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Benny Parsons , Chad Knaus