Osborne wins Crew Chief award Bob Osborne, crew chief of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford, faced many obstacles during the weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway. The pressure that the Roush / Fenway Racing team was under, racing for the Nextel Cup, was magnified after an accident in the first practice session had the No. 99 Ford into the wall. Osborne was immediately working overtime to have his backup car ready for his driver, Carl Edwards, to qualify for the Sylvania 300. The two-lap qualifying run was good enough to put the No. 99 Ford 11th on the starting grid, however, after the second day of practice was a wash out, Osborne would be heading into the 300-lap race with no practice. Despite the adversities, Osborne bounced back, working with his crew to produce a creditable performance in New Hampshire. For his amazing efforts and pressure filled decision-making, Osborne was awarded the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
Throughout the 300-lap race, the first in the Chase for the Nextel Cup, the Osborne / Edwards combination used the limited number of cautions to work on their car. Battling a tight car, Osborne utilized a two-tire pit stop to gain valuable track position, pushing the Ford as high as fifth at one point during the race. Osborne never surrendered and rallied his crew for a hard fought solid 12th place finish. The team remains as championship contenders after a weekend that could have produced disastrous results.
“Carl drove a very patient race this afternoon,” said Osborne at the conclusion of the race. “We overcome the wreck in practice, no time with the backup car and finished 12th. I’m very proud of the No. 99 team.”
The WYPALL* Wipers panel of voters, a member of the local media, Kenny Francis, Tony Eury Jr., Robbie Reiser and a WYPALL* Wipers representative, were able to identify the tough weekend that Osborne faced in Loudon. “It is never all easy sailing,” commented Francis. “A crew chief would love to roll off the perfect car, have no problems and be the fastest on the track. It would make our job very easy. It is when you are faced with numerous problems like Bob [Osborne] had this weekend, and come away with a solid race that you really see the work of a great crew chief.”
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