35th annual Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition Saturday, November 2, 2002- approximately 3:30 p.m. EST North Carolina Speedway, Rockingham, N.C. Top 25 teams in current 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Owner's Points Rules: Teams are...
35th annual Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition
Saturday, November 2, 2002- approximately 3:30 p.m. EST
North Carolina Speedway, Rockingham, N.C.
Top 25 teams in current 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Owner's Points
Teams are required to change both left-and right-side tires and empty 14 gallons of 76 Gasoline into the car (two cans holding seven gallons each). Time penalties are assessed for various infractions including loose lug nuts, fuel spills and fuel left in the gas can, etc.
1. No crew members are permitted over the pit wall until the car crosses the pit marker (6 sec. penalty for each man illegally over the pit wall).
2. Car running over jack (5 sec. penalty).
3. Car running over or under air hose or air wrench (10 sec penalty) .
4. Car overshooting pit area and breaking timing beam (Disqualification).
5. Tire rolling across painted centerline of pit road (3 sec. penalty per tire).
6. All lug nuts must be tightened to 80 foot pounds of torque (3 sec. penalty for each loose lug nut or cross-threaded lug nut).
7. Air guns handed or tossed between crew members (10 sec penalty) .
8. Pushing car from pits is prohibited unless car has stalled (3 sec. penalty per man pushing car from pits).
9. Track tire rule in effect (5 sec. penalty per tire mounted in wrong position).
10. All tires must be brought to the inside half of the pit box before car leaves assigned pit (3 sec. penalty per tire not removed).
11. Jackman swinging or handing the jack to another crew member (10 sec. penalty).
12. If gas dump can and/or catch can is attached when car leaves pit area and breaks timing light (Double base time penalty).
13. If catch can man drops catch can or if catch can man performs other duties (3 sec. penalty).
14. If more than one liter is poured from gas can after pit stop (1 sec. per liter penalty).
* Crews will square off for a record purse of $100,000 which includes a $10,000 bonus to any team who sets a new world record. The increased payout represents a 16 percent increase over the prize money posted in 2001.
* Since 1995,the winning time has bested the previous year's winning time by an average of .90 seconds.
* No team has repeated as champions since 1987-88 when crew chief Kirk Shelmerdine and Dale Earnhardt teamed up to win back-to-back titles.
* Kirk Shelmedrine and Dale Earnhardt continue to hold the record for the most titles, with four (1985-1988).
* Bobby Burrell, the 31-year-old front tire changer on Johnny Benson's #10 Valvoline Pontiac, will once again take part in Saturday's annual pit stop competition at North Carolina Speedway. Two weeks after the competition the series returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway, where Burrell suffered serious head injuries during in a pit lane incident last year while working for Robert Yates' #28 team. Burrell made a remarkable recovery in the off-season and returned to his tire changing duties, joining Benson's team last month. Burrell's accident prompted NASCAR to mandate teams utilize helmets on pit road for the 2002 season.
* Darren Jolly pulls double duty as the front tire carrier for the UPS Racing Team in addition to his full-time job as a tractor-trailer driver for UPS. Rick Coulson, catch can man, is a Charlotte Mecklenburg fire fighter. Mike Trower, front tire changer for the UPS Racing Team, is an engineer for Duke Power.
Past Champions Thoughts On Winning
The Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition
* "The pit crew competition is the only time the pit crews get the type of recognition they deserve. When we won in 1998 with the #31 RCR team I was so proud because after being a crew chief for 14 or 15 years, I finally won it. Of everything I've been fortunate enough to accomplish in my career, winning the pit crew competition still ranks at the top."-Larry McReynolds, FOX analyst and 1998 winning crew chief.
* Winning the pit crew competition in 2000 was one of the neatest things I've been a part of. Just as drivers set goals to accomplish during their career, so do crew members. Winning the pit crew competition is one of those items on the list. Every crew member at some point during their career strives to put themselves in a position to win the Union 76 pit crew title."-Mark Armstrong, front-tire changer for #18 Pontiac and member of 2000 winning team.
* I think there's a lot more pressure on us this year, because it's harder to repeat than to win for the first time. We need to remind ourselves that it's just one stop and it needs to be absolutely perfect."-Benjy Grubbs, gasman for #17 Ford.
<pre> UNION 76/ROCKINGHAM WORLD PIT CREW CHAMPIONSHIP PAST WINNERS