For Immediate Release
No. 56 Over-the-Wall Team Tops On Pit Road In First Quarter
Seasoned Pit Crew Voted Winners Of First-Quarter Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 18, 2010) – As one of the best in speed, performance and pit road prowess thus far in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota over-the-wall team from Michael Waltrip Racing has earned first-quarter honors in the 2010 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award competition.
The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, which is determined by a vote of eachteam’s crew chief, is given quarterly to the top-performing pit crew in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award presented during Champion’s Week in Las Vegas.
The award is part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provide teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories. Mechanix Wear, the #1 glove in racing, is the Official Glove of NASCAR® used by nearly all pit crew members in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Created nine years ago, the Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award is one of the most sought-after titles for pit crews.
“We work with pit crews every week to jointly develop products that help them do their job better,” said Ted Abdon, director of racing for Mechanix Wear. “We look at the changes in the cars and the pitstops, and create products that make them safer on the job and help them do it more effectively. We’ve worked hard to reward them for being the best in their sport.”
Truex Jr. and the No. 56 team have scored four top-10 finishes this season and currently sit 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings. And while Truex Jr. is getting the job done behind the wheel, crew chief Pat Tryson's veteran over-the-wall gang has been on their game as well, performing consistent, fast pit stops all year.
Members of the No. 56 NAPA “Know How” pit crew include: Cory Quick (front-tire changer), Craig Curione (front-tire carrier), Shannon Myers (rear-tire changer), Mark Kennerly (rear-tire carrier), Brian Chase (jackman), Doug Newell (gasman) and Keith Koppenal (catch can). The team’s pit crew coach is Greg Miller.
“We are very fortunate that the crew we put together has had chemistry right from the very start,” said pit crew coach Greg Miller. “I want to thank Mechanix Wear for having such a prestigious award. It is an honor to have been voted on and chosen by the crew chiefs and it means a lot to the NAPA ‘Know How’ Pit Crew.”
Truex Jr., who claimed his fifth career Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday’s Autism Speaks 400 Presented By Hershey®’s at Dover International Speedway, depends on his experienced pit crew to be a difference-maker on pit road.
“My guys have a lot of experience and have been in racing for a long time,” said Truex Jr., referring to the No. 56 pit crew. “They’re just a great group of guys that love what they’re doing and put a lot of effort into it. To be rewarded like this goes a long way. They’ve been a huge part of our success so far this year.”
Truex Jr. will depend on his award-winning pit crew this Saturday night, where the No. 56 team will take center stage during the 40-lap NASCAR Sprint Showdown, attempting to finish within the top-two spots to advance to that evening’s 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
The No. 56 pit crew will be presented the first-quarter Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award during Saturday night pre-race ceremonies at Charlotte Motor Speedway.