Donnie Wingo Wins IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week

Sawing through adversity, No. 26 Crew Chief Donnie Wingo takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week honors. VERNON HILLS, Ill., September 10, 2002 - Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 26 Discover Card Ford, battled back after an early spin to finish ...

Sawing through adversity, No. 26 Crew Chief Donnie Wingo takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week honors.

VERNON HILLS, Ill., September 10, 2002 - Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 26 Discover Card Ford, battled back after an early spin to finish fifth in Saturday night ' s Chevy Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway, helping to earn crew chief Donnie Wingo this week ' s IRWIN " Rough to the Finish " Award.

The early bad break for the team happened on lap 16 when former Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte clipped Bodine, causing both cars to spin. Despite sheet metal damage near the right front tire, Bodine was able to keep going until a caution flag came out a few laps later. Under caution, Wingo called the No. 26 in to have the sheet metal pulled out, along with taking on four fresh tires and fuel. Bodine was forced to take the green flag on lap 24 in 35th position.

By lap 200, Bodine rebounded back into the top 20, and within 40 laps, he was racing just shy of the top 10. With fuel mileage becoming an issue, Wingo urged Bodine to coast whenever possible to conserve fuel. Thanks to Wingo ' s great advice and great pit stops all night, Bodine crossed the finish line in fifth place, just as he ran out of gas.

"It was a great run for the Discover Card Ford, " said Wingo. " We ' ve had some really bad luck due to no fault of our own early, but this time we had lady luck on our side in the end. These guys did a great job in the pits all day, and Todd drove a great race. This award is a credit to the entire team ' s effort tonight. "

Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, IRWIN, makers of professional power tool accessories like MARATHON 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 David Pirkle of 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 Ellerbe, NC Educational 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 2002 season.

"Working with Benny Parsons and the PRN family is a natural fit for the IRWIN bits and blades line, " said Pirkle. " 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-purp ose 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 www.irwintool.com.

-irwin

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Terry Labonte , Todd Bodine , Benny Parsons