Wingo Wins Crew Chief of the Race Award In only his fifth race paired together with Juan Pablo Montoya, crew chief Donnie Wingo guided his rookie driver to his first NEXTEL Cup Series top-five finish. Prior to the weekend, the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger's best finish was nineteenth. By the end of the Kobalt Tools 500, the Chip Ganassi team was celebrating its most impressive finish to date. Amazingly, it was at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a track that Montoya had never seen until two days earlier. Wingo used his vast knowledge of the track to overcome this obstacle, and it was evident by the preparation of the race car. For his exceptional set-up of the car and excellent adjustments, Wingo earned the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
"Everybody did a great job," said Montoya following the race. "My Dodge was amazing. Everybody at Texaco/Havoline, Chip Ganassi, my crew guys, my crew chief, everybody did an amazing job today. It's nice to get a top-five here."
For as quick as Montoya was to praise the rest of his team, his crew chief was just as fast to praise him. "Juan Pablo is getting more used to NASCAR," said Wingo. "He is beginning to really get a hang of things. We were able to do some more things this week to free him up. We are setting the car up to give him a lot more freedom."
A panel of voters, which included a member of the local media, Tony Eury Jr. and a WYPALL* Wipers representative, agreed that Donnie Wingo made the best calls and adjustments during the race. As the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race, Wingo received $1,000. With the victory, he has moved into a tie for first place with Chip Bolin, Chad Knaus and Ryan Pemberton, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000 and be crowned WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.
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