Michael McSwain wins IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week

No. 28 Crew Chief Michael McSwain takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week Honors . VERNON HILLS, Ill., October 23, 2002 - Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Havoline Ford, overcame a two-lap deficit early in Sunday's Old Dominion 500 at...

No. 28 Crew Chief Michael McSwain takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week Honors .

VERNON HILLS, Ill., October 23, 2002 - Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Havoline Ford, overcame a two-lap deficit early in Sunday's Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway to finish third, helping to earn crew chief Michael McSwain this week's IRWIN "Rough to the Finish" award.

The No. 28 team suffered an early setback Sunday, cutting a tire in the first ten laps of the race. After falling two laps down due to the incident, the next few caution flags fell in the team's favor, and they were able to gain back both laps by lap 150. From that point on, the name of the game was track position. Rudd quickly raced into the top-10, climbing to third position, but troubles exiting pit road in good position throughout the second half of the race would eventually take the team out of contention.

"Unfortunately, track position really cost us the win today," said McSwain. "We suffered a bit of bad luck early, but this team fought back and had a shot at the win in the end. My hat's off to all the guys in the pits. This award is a credit to their hard work and determination."

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 that 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-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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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Benny Parsons