Tommy Baldwin wins "IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week" honors

Sawing through adversity, No. 22 Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week honors VERNON HILLS, Ill., March 27, 2002 - Battling power system problems last Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for...

Sawing through adversity, No. 22 Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin takes home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week honors

VERNON HILLS, Ill., March 27, 2002 - Battling power system problems last Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for the No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge, rallied his team back into contention midway through the Food City 500, only to fall victim once again to the voltage problems that plagued the racecar all day. As a result of his efforts, driver Ward Burton was able to climb to a 25th place finish from as far back as 40th position, earning Baldwin this week's "IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award."

Burton began experiencing voltage problems early in the race, forcing Baldwin to order him to shut down the fans and cooling systems in an effort to save the racecar's battery. During an early caution, Baldwin had the crew put in a new battery after determining that the wiring system was not the problem. After the pit stop, it wasn't long before Burton found himself back in the thick of things, running as high as fourth position. But on lap 320, excitement turned to frustration as the voltage began to drop once again . Despite several pit stops to replace the battery, Burton fought the problem throughout the end of the race.

"We had a voltage problem early and just tried to wait out a caution so we could figure out exactly what was causing it," said Tommy Baldwin. "After checking the wiring system and replacing the battery, we thought we had solved our problem. Ward drove that thing up through traffic, got his lap back and raced with the leaders midway through the race. But sometimes things don't go your way, and we fought the voltage problem all day. Ward did a heck of a job battling today, and my hat's off to him and this whole crew for their efforts."

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 Connie Parsons Memorial 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 Connie Parsons Memorial 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 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.

Other American Tool product lines include VISE-GRIP® locking tools, QUICK-GRIP® clamping tools, STRAIT-LINE® marking tools and RECORD® hand tools. For company information, customers can visit www.americantool.com.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Benny Parsons , Tommy Baldwin