Jimmy Fennig wins IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week

Sawing Through Adversity, No. 97 Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig Takes Home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week Honors. VERNON HILLS, Ill., July 23, 2002 - Kurt Busch and the No. 97 Rubbermaid team showed grit and determination in coming back from three laps...

Sawing Through Adversity, No. 97 Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig Takes Home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week Honors.

VERNON HILLS, Ill., July 23, 2002 - Kurt Busch and the No. 97 Rubbermaid team showed grit and determination in coming back from three laps down to finish eighth in Sunday's New England 300. As a result of their teamwork, crew chief Jimmy Fennig takes home this week's" IRWIN Rough to the Finish" Award, his third of the season.

After starting the race in the 23rd position and climbing as high as fourth, the Rubbermaid team suffered its first of two setbacks - a flat left front tire - midway through the race and quickly fell two laps down to 33rd position. A few laps later, more tragedy struck the No. 97 team as they discovered a hole in the radiator. Immediately Busch came into the pits to repair the damage, but the team was now down three laps to the race leaders. But thanks to some well-timed pit stops, determined driving and a season-high 14 caution flags, Busch managed to make it back on the lead lap and gain 24 track positions to finish in eighth-place.

"This was a phenomenal effort by the entire Rubbermaid team," Fennig said. "We had some trouble in the middle of the race with a flat tire and a radiator problem, which set us back a couple of laps, but this team never gave up. They were just as determined as Kurt was to get us back on the lead lap, and that's exactly what we did. I'm real proud of these guys, and this was just a great day for everyone."

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 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 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 www.irwintool.com.

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. American Tool's product portfolio includes branded hand tools such as VISE-GRIP® locking tools, QUICK-GRIP® clamping tools and STRAIT-LINE® marking tools in addition to power tool accessories, such as IRWIN® drill bits and MARATHON® saw blades.

American Tool is a division of Newell Rubbermaid Inc., a global marketer of consumer products with 2001 sales of nearly $7 billion and a powerful brand family, including Sharpie®, Paper Mate®, Parker®, Waterman®, Rubbermaid®, Blue Ice®, Calphalon®, Little Tikes®, Graco®/Century®, Levolor®, Kirsch®, Shur-Line®, and Eldon®. The company is headquartered in Freeport, Illinois and employs 49,000 people worldwide.


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Benny Parsons