Jeff Gordon’s Team takes Pit Crew Challenge Honors
Jeff Gordon’s over-the-wall crew earned its first win of the season in the weekly Checkers®/Rally’s® Double Drive-Thru Challenge by spending the least amount of time on pit road during Sunday’s rain-delayed Nextel Cup event.
The No. 24 crew spent 201.593 seconds on Richmond International Raceway’s pit lane, and lifted its team to a fourth-place finish in the Jim Stewart 400 presented by Crown Royal.
"We made a lot of changes to the No. 24 crew at the beginning of 2006 and the guys have really worked hard," said Matt Clark, pit crew coach for the No. 24 DuPont team. "I'm glad they've received this award and the recognition that goes along with it.”
Clark continued, "We're happy with our recent performance, but we want to continue to improve through the end of the year."
Checkers/Rally’s will award an $11,000 prize to Gordon’s crew for winning the weekly competition. An additional $111,150 will be presented to the pit crew with the most Double Drive-Thru Challenge wins at the completion of the 36-race Nextel Cup schedule.
The No. 24 crew, out of the Hendrick Motorsports stable, includes: Jeff Cook (jackman), Mike "Tiny" Houston (front-tire carrier), Clay Robinson (front-tire changer), Jeff Knight (rear-tire carrier), Kevin Gilman (rear-tire changer), Caleb Hurd (gasman), Jamie Frady (catch can) and Andy Kruep (eighth-man). The crew chief is Steve Letarte.
After ten Nextel Cup races, Mark Martin’s/Regan Smith’s No. 01 pit crew leads in the Checkers/Rally’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge standings with four wins. Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 crew is second with two victories.
To win the Checkers/Rally’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge, teams are required to finish on the lead lap while spending the least amount of time on pit road. Checkers/Rally’s is in its third season as title sponsor for the pit crew challenge.
2007 Checkers/Rally’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge Winners – Nextel Cup Series
* Daytona (2/18) Mark Martin Team
* California (2/25) Mark Martin Team
* Las Vegas (3/11) Mark Martin Team
* Atlanta (3/18) Jimmie Johnson Team
* Bristol (3/25) Denny Hamlin Team
* Martinsville (4/1) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team
* Texas (4/15) Mark Martin Team
* Phoenix (4/22) Denny Hamlin Team
* Talladega (4/29) Kurt Busch Team
* Richmond (5/6) Jeff Gordon Team