USAR: Lakeland CS: Pit Crew Challenge preview

The Other Championship Myrtle Beach, SC--Shane Huffman is heading into the Championship Finale Hooters 300 presented by Viste looking for his first championship in the Hooters ProCup Series, but his pit crew will gunning for their second. Last...

The Other Championship

Myrtle Beach, SC--Shane Huffman is heading into the Championship Finale Hooters 300 presented by Viste looking for his first championship in the Hooters ProCup Series, but his pit crew will gunning for their second.

Last season, the Jennie-O Turkey Store crew won the second annual Goodyear Pit Crew Challenge before the final race of the 2002 season, edging the Black's Tire Service crew of Jason Sarvis by .807 seconds at USA Int'l Speedway.

"Winning the Goodyear Pit Crew Challenge last year was exciting for us," said Rick Mace, who changes rear tires on the No. 84 Ford of Shane Huffman. "We went in as the underdogs and pulled off a good stop. It showed that we've got a good crew as well as a good racecar driver."

Fueled by the 2002 championship, the Jennie-O Turkey Store crew has continued to shine during this season, routinely putting Huffman back on the track ahead of the competition.

"They're probably the biggest part of our success this season," said Huffman. "The way they practice and prepare on a weekly basis shows their dedication to our team."

Regardless of their past success, the Jennie-O Turkey crew knows they will have to defend their title at Lakeland, battling against the crews of the teams that finished in the top five in points from the Northern and Southern Divisions and the leading rookies from both divisions at the conclusion of the 2003 regular season.

The 11 teams competing in the competition will be allowed to use a maximum of six crewmembers during the stop and must make a four-tire stop. Timing of the stop will start when the nose of the car crosses the line marking the pit stall and stop when the nose crosses the ending line on exit. The crews will not be able to cross the pit stall until the car comes to a complete stop.

If the crew crosses the pit wall too early, a 10-second penalty will be added to the finishing time. Ten seconds will also be added to all teams that leave equipment on the left side of the car, run over the air hose or pit out of the stall. Two seconds will be added per each loose lug nut that is not tightened to 60 ft. lbs, placing a premium on precision as much as speed.

"Our motto is: slow is fast," said Mace. "We try to slow down, be smooth and get all the lugs tight. That's what won it for us last season. If you have penalties, you're not going to win."

The No. 5 Triple Diamond Aviation crew of Bobby Gill knows that all too well. After winning the inaugural Goodyear Pit Crew Challenge in 2001, Gill's crew set quick time in last season's competition, but loose lugs nuts cost the defending champions six seconds and the $4,000-check for winning.

In addition to paying the winner $4,000, the Goodyear Pit Crew Challenge will payout $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place. The top-three finishers will also receive racing apparel and crew shirts from Heintz Performance, Leaf, Pit Gear Custom Covers, Ringers Gloves, Tri-Star Racewear, CV Products, Lance Kelly Designs.

Goodyear Pit Crew Challenge Rosters - (Listed in order of participation)

1. The No. 44 LA West Crew
Driver: Joel Kauffman
Jackman: Duke Berkes
Front Tire Changer: Larry Nagel
Front Tire Carrier: Scott Landers
Rear Tire Changer: Dan Berlew
Rear Tire Carrier: Mike Salsbury
Sign Man: Josh Tucker

2. The No. 75 Clean & Shine Crew
Driver: Eric Corbett
Jackman: Jerry Blough
Front Tire Changer: Doug Thomas
Front Tire Carrier: Jason Blough
Rear Tire Changer: Jeremy Blough
Rear Tire Carrier: Jason Waugh
Sign Man: Larry Corbett

3. The No. 15 Hooters Crew
Driver: Mardy Lindley
Jackman: Jason McDowell
Front Tire Changer: Elvin Rector
Front Tire Carrier: Jimmy Rector
Rear Tire Changer: Joey Bishop
Rear Tire Carrier: Jeff Merritt
Sign Man: Paul Tusa

4. The No. 4 Lucas Oil Products Crew
Driver: Jay Fogleman
Jackman: Mike Glenn
Front Tire Changer: Ben Ward
Front Tire Carrier: Jeff Brafford
Rear Tire Changer: Mike Morris
Rear Tire Carrier: Joe Burke
Sign Man: John Glenn

5. The No. 28 Jackaroo Sauces Crew
Driver: Michael Ritch
Jackman: Darrell Barham
Front Tire Changer: Kevin Sikes
Front Tire Carrier: Jeff Mendenhall
Rear Tire Changer: Barry Boeckenstedt
Rear Tire Carrier: Patrick Wall
Sign Man: Dave Barham

6. The No. 68 DR Horton America's Home Builder Crew
Driver: Kertus Davis
Jackman: Greg Moore
Front Tire Changer: Richard Gray
Front Tire Carrier: Arnold Mills
Rear Tire Changer: Josh Crumpler
Rear Tire Carrier: David Parker
Sign Man: Mark Crumpler

7. The No. 2 Lucas Oil Products Crew
Driver: Steve Christian
Jackman: Stewart Clark
Front Tire Changer: Ronnie Griffin
Front Tire Carrier: Jamie Carroll
Rear Tire Changer: Danny Wigley
Rear Tire Carrier: Monty Houston
Sign Man: Mike Ethridge

8. The No. 42 US Insurance Group Crew
Driver: Brian Ross
Jackman: Rock Shannomack
Front Tire Changer: Mark Wortinger
Front Tire Carrier: Mark Bartley
Rear Tire Changer: Ryan Powell
Rear Tire Carrier: Craig Miller
Sign Man: Kenny Gadacz

9. The No. 22 Black's Tire Service Crew
Driver: Jason Sarvis
Jackman: Terry Kinlaw
Front Tire Changer: David Holmes
Front Tire Carrier: Ray Brand
Rear Tire Changer: Rick Tenton
Rear Tire Carrier: Ricky Hamilton
Sign Man: Rodger Blakeney

10. The No. 73 NGA/Hooters Golf Tour Crew
Driver: Jeff Agnew
Jackman: Jeff Tramel
Front Tire Changer: Doug Weddle
Front Tire Carrier: Ricky Vance
Rear Tire Changer: Tracy Thompson
Rear Tire Carrier: Robert Martin
Sign Man: Ebby Price

11. The No. 84 Jennie-O Turkey Store Crew
Driver: Shane Huffman
Jackman: Christopher Gragg
Front Tire Changer: Mark Presnell
Front Tire Carrier: Jonathan Toney
Rear Tire Changer: Rick Mace
Rear Tire Carrier: Mike Sigmon
Sign Man: Eddie Gragg

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Brian Ross , Kertus Davis , Joel Kauffman , Greg Moore , Shane Huffman , Jeff Agnew