No. 8 Pit Crew wins Talladega II

Dale Jr.'s Pit Crew Takes Over Points Lead After Talladega Win Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s pit crew not only captured Sunday's McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade at Talladega Superspeedway, but the No. 8 crew also took over ...

Dale Jr.'s Pit Crew Takes Over Points Lead After Talladega Win

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s pit crew not only captured Sunday's McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade at Talladega Superspeedway, but the No. 8 crew also took over the competition's points lead which will pay the season champion a $200,000 bonus.

It was the third time this season that Earnhardt's crew won the $20,000 weekly prize - the other wins were at Rockingham and Richmond in May.

The No. 8 crew, which played a vital role in Earnhardt's victory in the restrictor-plate race, overcame a 19-point deficit to Elliott Sadler's crew going into Talladega. Earnhardt's crew earned 43 points for the win while Sadler's crew picked up 22 points for finishing 22nd.

With seven Nextel Cup races remaining, the McDonald's/POWERade points race is shaping up to be a tightly-contested battle. The top-five crews are: Earnhardt Jr. (1031 points), Sadler (1029), Kurt Busch (1020), Kevin Harvick (1013) and Tony Stewart (997).

Earnhardt's Budweiser Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on Talladega's pit road - 203.341 seconds. Busch's Sharpie Ford was second at 211.299. Joe Nemechek's No. 01 U.S. Army Chevy came in third with a time of 213.680.

"Great pit stops all day," said Earnhardt. "I believe every time we made a pit stop, we picked up positions. Tony Jr. made a great call there when we were coming in for a quick gas-and-go with about 12 or 11 to go. The caution came out just as we had entered pit road, so he was yelling 'Put on two tires! Put on two tires!' That was a split-second decision, and I think it was the difference in us winning and losing. Those two right-side tires made the car turn so much better, and I had 'em and nobody else did."

Tony Eury Sr., crew chief for the No. 8 team, said, "We've finally got our pit crew going the way we need it to. We made a few changes not too long ago, because we felt like if we're going to make a serious run at this championship, we need to get our act together in the pits. Our pit stops have been really good last month, and it just so happens we've won two races and added a few more top-fives to go with them. Dale Jr. has done a great job driving the car, and the guys in the pits have done a great job getting him in and out."

The No. 8 over-the-wall crew consists of: Jeff Clarke (gasman), Kevin Pennell (jackman), Phil Drye (front tire changer), Danny Earnhardt (front tire carrier), Greg Burkhart (rear tire changer), Troy Prince (rear tire carrier), Craig Lund (catch can). Tony Eury Sr. is the crew chief and the car chief is Tony Eury Jr. The pit crew coach is Walt Smith.

<pre> Top 10 Pit Crews in Sunday's (Oct. 3) EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

    Team                        Time            Car#    Points
1.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team     203.341 seconds   8     43
2.  Kurt Busch Team             211.299    "     97     42
3.  Joe Nemechek Team           213.680    "     01     41
4.  Robby Gordon Team           214.165    "     31     40
5.  Jeff Burton Team            220.755    "     30     39
6.  Kevin Harvick Team          228.252    "     29     38
7.  Ward Burton Team            228.944    "      0     37
8.  Michael Waltrip Team        246.150    "     15     36
9.  Ken Schrader Team           293.331    "     49     35
10. Tony Stewart Team           328.965    "     20     34

2004 Winners of The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade: Daytona (2/15) Tony Stewart Team Rockingham (2/22) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team Las Vegas (3/7) Kurt Busch Team Atlanta (3/14) Robby Gordon Team Darlington (3/21) Greg Biffle Team Bristol (3/28) Sterling Marlin Team Texas (4/4) Michael Waltrip Team Martinsville (4/18) Kurt Busch Team Talladega (4/25) Robby Gordon Team California (5/2) Robby Gordon Team Richmond (5/15) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team Charlotte (5/30) Jamie McMurray Team Dover (6/6) Tony Stewart Team Pocono (6/13) Casey Mears Team Michigan (6/20) Elliott Sadler Team Sonoma (6/27) Elliott Sadler Team Daytona (7/3) Michael Waltrip Team Chicago (7/11) Elliott Sadler Team N. Hampshire (7/25) Kurt Busch Team Pocono (8/1) Greg Biffle Team Indianapolis (8/8) Elliott Sadler Team Watkins Glen (8/15) Tony Stewart Team Michigan (8/22) Greg Biffle Team Bristol (8/28) Robby Gordon Team California (9/5) Elliott Sadler Team Richmond (9/11) Michael Waltrip Team N. Hampshire (9/19) Sterling Marlin Team Dover (9/26) Kurt Busch Team Talladega (10/3) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team

Point Standings for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Teams Competing in The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE: Following Talladega (10/3); pit crew wins in parentheses

Pos.    Car#    Pit Crew of                     Points  Prize Money
1         8     Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team (3)     1031     60,000
2        38     Elliott Sadler Team (5)         1029    100,000
3        97     Kurt Busch Team (4)             1020     80,000
4        29     Kevin Harvick Team              1013
5        20     Tony Stewart Team (3)            997     60,000
6        15     Michael Waltrip Team (3)         975     60,000
T-7      42     Jamie McMurray Team (1)          953     20,000
T-7      30     Jeff Burton Team                 953
9        31     Robby Gordon Team (4)            943     80,000
10       88     Dale Jarrett Team                938
11       01     Joe Nemechek Team                934
12       18     Bobby Labonte Team               929
13       40     Sterling Marlin Team (2)         920     40,000
T-14     41     Casey Mears Team (1)             902     20,000
T-14     99     Carl Edwards Team                902
16       21     Ricky Rudd Team                  885
17       16     Greg Biffle Team (3)             880     60,000
18       49     Ken Schrader Team                851
19       43     Jeff Green Team                  827
20        0     Ward Burton Team                 797
21       45     Kyle Petty Team                  792
22       50     Arnold Motorsports               657
23       09     James Finch Team (owner)         500
24      198     William Edwards (owner)          433
25       89     Morgan Shepherd Team             328
26       02     Hermie Sadler Team               326
27        1     DEI Team                         197
28       72     Kirk Shelmerdine Team            175
29      280     Andy Hillenburg Team             168
30      251     Kevin Lepage Team                105
31       91     Bill Elliott Team                 88
32      194     Stanton Barrett Team              80
T-33    100     Kenny Wallace Team                77
T-33    133     Kerry Earnhardt Team              77
35       36     Boris Said Team                   73
36       14     Larry Foyt Team                   72

-mcdonalds-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Ward Burton , Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Boris Said , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Greg Biffle , Jeff Green , Kevin Lepage , Sterling Marlin , Robby Gordon , Kurt Busch , Casey Mears , Larry Foyt , Jamie McMurray , Andy Hillenburg , Kerry Earnhardt , Hermie Sadler , Kirk Shelmerdine , Stanton Barrett , Morgan Shepherd , Carl Edwards , Elliott Sadler , Tony Eury Jr.