No. 15 Pit Crew finishes first at Chicagoland

Waltrip's Pit Crew expands points lead after capturing win at Chicagoland Speedway At the halfway point of the NASCAR Winston Cup season it appears that Michael Waltrip's pit crew is well on its way to collecting the $200,000 season bonus that...

Waltrip's Pit Crew expands points lead after capturing win at Chicagoland Speedway

At the halfway point of the NASCAR Winston Cup season it appears that Michael Waltrip's pit crew is well on its way to collecting the $200,000 season bonus that goes to the champion of the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade.

Waltrip's NAPA pit crew became the first team to win three McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championships this season when the No. 15 crew outscored the participating field in Sunday's Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Waltrip's No. 15 Chevrolet, owned by Dale Earnhardt Inc., spent the least amount of aggregate time off the track - 190.368 seconds. Jeff Burton's pit crew came in second with a time of 193.689 and Tony Stewart's crew was third at 225.375.

The pit crew victory increased the lead for Waltrip's team. After 18 races, the No. 15 crew has a commanding lead with 681 points. Dale Earnhardt's pit crew is second with 609 points and Bobby Labonte's crew is third with 582.

Waltrip's pit crew also leads in prize money with $60,000 collected -- $20,000 for each McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship victory. The team's other pit crew wins were at the season-opening Daytona 500 (Feb. 16) and at Dover (June 1).

"The best part about leading this competition, is our team is just that - a team," said crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe, "The McDonald's/POWERade pit crew challenge is a great way for other people to see how this group has jelled since its inception. There are forty-some crew members that make up the NAPA team and only eight of them really ever get any credit for the success we've enjoyed this year.

"Those guys that make up the guts of the NAPA team put the everyday pieces into place, which allow the over-the-wall guys to excel in each of their positions. I am extremely proud of our over-the-wall team, but it's the overall effort that impresses me the most."

The over-the-wall pit crew for Waltrip's team consists of: Brian Chase (jackman), Jeff Opal (gasman), Chris Crumley (front tire changer), Greg Osborne (rear tire changer), Shawn Ward (front tire carrier), Chad Walter (rear tire carrier) and Pete Rondeau (catch can).

During each 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup points event, the participating team whose car spends the least amount of aggregate time off the race track will be named the weekly winner of the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE, provided the team's driver takes the green flag at the beginning of the event and the checkered flag at the conclusion of the event. A timing line at the entrance and exit of pit road triggers the car's transponder and records the total time spent off the race track.

The point distribution per race is: 43 points for first place, descending in increments of one. The season champion of the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE will receive a $200,000 bonus.

The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE is the largest monetary contingency program in NASCAR history.

<pre> Top 10 Pit Crews For Participating Teams In Sunday's (July 13) Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway

1.  Michael Waltrip Team        190.368  Seconds
2.  Jeff Burton Team            193.689
3.  Tony Stewart Team           225.375
4.  Jeff Green Team             227.499
5.  Ricky Rudd Team             236.183
6.  Jamie McMurray Team         263.747
7.  Jimmy Spencer Team          269.277
8.  Greg Biffle Team            318.765
9.  Elliott Sadler Team         336.530
10. Dave Blaney Team            344.995

2003 Winners of The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE:

Race                             Team Winner
Daytona (Feb. 16)               Michael Waltrip Team
Rockingham (Feb. 23)            Dave Blaney Team
Las Vegas (March 2)             Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team
Atlanta (March 9)               Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team
Darlington (March 16)           Jeff Green Team (Richard Childress Racing)
Bristol (March 23)              Bill Elliott Team
Texas (March 30)                Robby Gordon Team
Talladega (April 6)             Bill Elliott Team
Martinsville (April 13)         Bobby Labonte Team
California (April 27)           Bobby Labonte Team
Richmond (May 3)                Jeff Burton Team
Charlotte (May 25)              Dale Jarrett Team
Dover (June 1)                  Michael Waltrip Team
Pocono (June 8)                 Todd Bodine Team
Michigan (June 15)              Sterling Marlin Team
Sonoma (June 22)                Robby Gordon Team
Daytona (July 5)                Jeff Burton Team
Chicago (July 13)               Michael Waltrip Team

Point Standings For NASCAR Winston Cup Teams Participating In The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE: (following Chicago 7/13/03; pit crew wins in parentheses)

Pos.    Car#    Pit Crew of                     Points
1       15      Michael Waltrip Team (3)        681
2        8      Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team (2)     609
3       18      Bobby Labonte Team (2)          582
4       31      Robby Gordon Team (2)           579
5       40      Sterling Marlin Team (1)        563
6       38      Elliott Sadler Team             545
T7      16      Greg Biffle Team                544
T7      97      Kurt Busch Team                 544
9       42      Jamie McMurray Team             510
10      77      Dave Blaney Team (1)            502
11       9      Bill Elliott Team (2)           481
12      20      Tony Stewart Team               479
T13      1      Jeff Green Team                 476
T13     99      Jeff Burton Team (2)            476
15      41      Casey Mears Team                473
16      30      Steve Park Team (1)             467
17      21      Ricky Rudd Team                 455
18      54      Todd Bodine Team (1)            453
T19     43      Christian Fittipaldi Team       450
T19     88      Dale Jarrett Team (1)           450
21       7      Jimmy Spencer Team              444
22      45      Kyle Petty Team                 442
23      01      Jerry Nadeau Team               431
24       0      Jack Sprague Team               419
25      74      Tony Raines Team                406
26      49      Kenny Schrader Team             392
27      14      Larry Foyt Team                 221
28      11      Brett Bodine Team               128
29      09      Phoenix Racing                   97
30      66      Hideo Fukuyama Team              46
T31     37      Derrike Cope Team                28
T31     02      Hermie Sadler Team               28
33      57      (Edward Campbell car owner)      26
34      33      (Andy Petree car owner)          22

*joined program at fifth race of season - Darlington, 3/16

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Derrike Cope , Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Steve Park , Kyle Petty , Jimmy Spencer , Greg Biffle , Jeff Green , Sterling Marlin , Robby Gordon , Jerry Nadeau , Kurt Busch , Casey Mears , Christian Fittipaldi , Larry Foyt , Tony Raines , Jack Sprague , Jamie McMurray , Hermie Sadler , Andy Petree , Hideo Fukuyama , Elliott Sadler , Dave Blaney
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Phoenix Racing