Reiser wins Crew Chief Award With all odds stacked against him, Robbie Reiser, crew chief on the No. 17 Roush / Fenway Racing team, orchestrated an unexpected top five finish at Texas Motor Speedway. With the starting grid for the Samsung 500 set via opener’s points after qualifying was a washout, the No. 17 DeWalt Ford was placed for a second row start. Throughout the race, Reiser had his crew working overtime to make the necessary adjustments on their poorly performing car, in the hope of giving his driver, Matt Kenseth, a chance at a respectable finish. His outstanding effort, along with his calculated racing strategy, won Reiser the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
When a caution flag waved with less than 100 laps remaining, Reiser opted for a two-tire change, giving Kenseth valuable track position. Reiser then needed to convince his driver to give it all he had, as Kenseth believed he was coasting on a flat right rear tire. Reiser’s relentless efforts to convince him otherwise worked as Kenseth slid to the front with 18 laps remaining. Kenseth managed to hold onto this position, only to be edged out by eventual race winner, Jeff Burton, with only half a lap remaining. On all accounts, it was a grand performance by Reiser, giving his team and driver every chance to finish the weekend on a high note.
“We really didn’t have a car that was going to win today,” said a humble Reiser at the conclusion of the Samsung 500. “I have to give it to my team and Matt for pushing it out there today. I’m just lucky that I’ve got a great bunch of guys behind me that know when we need to step it up a gear or two.”
A panel of voters, including a member of the local media, Tony Eury Jr., Kenny Francis and a WYPALL* Wipers representative, were unanimous in selecting Reiser as the crew chief of the race. “They almost came out of nowhere today to steal a win,” said Francis on the Reiser team. “The job for a crew chief is easy when everything is going your way on race day. But it really shows who is ahead of the others [crew chiefs] when you can pull out an effort like Robbie [Reiser] did today. What an awesome job by those guys.”
As the WYPALL* Wipers Crew chief of the Race, Reiser received $1,000. Earning his first crew chief of the race award puts Reiser level with Alan Gustafson, Chip Bolin, Chad Knaus, Ryan Pemberton, Donnie Wingo and Tony Eury Jr. also with one win each. At the end of the season the crew chief with the most wins will receive $20,000 and be crowned WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.
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