Frank Stoddard wins IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week

Sawing through adversity, No. 99 Crew Chief Frank Stoddard takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week honors. VERNON HILLS, Ill., September 5, 2002 - Gray skies and rain were consistent at Sunday's Mountain Dew Southern 500 in Darlington,...

Sawing through adversity, No. 99 Crew Chief Frank Stoddard takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week honors.

VERNON HILLS, Ill., September 5, 2002 - Gray skies and rain were consistent at Sunday's Mountain Dew Southern 500 in Darlington, S.C., and so was the No. 99 CITGO Ford of Jeff Burton. As a result of the team's top-10 finish, Frank Stoddard takes home this week's IRWIN "Rough to the Finish" Award, his second award in as many weeks and third overall.

As the storms began to subside Sunday on a rain-filled weekend at Darlington Raceway, the race cars began shuffling onto the track. Starting from the 13th position, Burton quickly climbed his way through the field to sixth position by lap 45. Fueled by quick pit stops, Burton was able to take the lead by lap 129, where he remained for the next 24 laps.

On lap 204, Burton, now running third, ran through some oil and crashed into the wall causing damage to the No. 99 CITGO Ford. The No. 99 team sprung into action and by lap 245, the team had the car fixed and Burton was running in 22nd. One by one Burton worked his way back through the pack, again with the help of some of the day's quickest pit stops, to cross the start/finish line in 10th place, the team's 10th top-10 finish of the year.

"The CITGO team is running well," said Stoddard. "It's a shame that we hit that oil patch in turn one after the accident, but what can you do. I applaud the efforts of everyone in the pits today. When our backs were up against the wall, these guys really came through. These guys, including Jeff, deserve all the credit."

With this week's award, Stoddard is now tied with No. 97 crew chief Jimmy Fennig for the points lead in the year-long competition. Each crew chief has three awards to his credit so far this season. Four other crew chiefs are tied for second with two awards apiece. They include Chad Knaus (No. 48), Bill Wilburn (No. 2), Tony Eury (No. 8) and Todd Parrott (No. 88). Five others are tied for third with one award each.

"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 upcoming year.

"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-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 www.irwintool.com.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Benny Parsons