Ford Wins Crew Chief of the Year WypAll Wipers is pleased to announce Mike Ford, crew chief for the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team, as the 2007 WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.
The WypAll Wipers Crew Chief Challenge has been a season-long contest set out to determine the best crew chiefs in the garage. At the conclusion of each NASCAR race, a panel of judges decided which crew chief did an outstanding job throughout the course of the weekend based on their strategic planning and race day calls. While, it wasn't necessarily the crew chief that made it into victory lane, it was always the crew chief that made the biggest difference to his team. The crew chief with the most weekly wins received top honors as the WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.
The challenge spotlights the crew chief's performance and efforts to get his team into victory lane. “Crew chiefs work hard to get their team and car ready for competition week in and week out,” says Tom Merrill, category manager for WypAll Wipers. “Often times, the crew chief goes unnoticed by the fans, even when they win. This award is designed to bring recognition to the hard work and dedication that crew chiefs display throughout the season, whether they made it into victory lane or simply finished strong.”
WypAll Wipers, which offer durability and high quality performance around the NASCAR garage, has become synonymous with crew chiefs expecting nothing but the best. Just as WypAll Wipers offers the best in top-notch absorbent capabilities, the WypAll Wipers Crew Chief Challenge aims to recognize the best on race day. Mike Ford earned Crew Chief of the Race accolades at five races this season, narrowly edging out Bob Osborne, crew chief of the No. 99 Office Depot team and Chad Knaus, crew chief of the No. 48 Lowe’s team, each with four wins. The 2006 Crew Chief of the Year champion and WypAll Wipers spokesmen, Robbie Reiser, recognized the efforts of Ford and all crew chiefs in the Nextel Cup garage.
“Any crew chief will tell you the importance on the team behind him,” commented Reiser. “Mike [Ford] really displayed great leadership on so many occasions this year. It was a great honor for me to be recognized by WypAll Wipers last year and I’m sure Mike will feel the same this year. My congratulations go to him and his entire crew for an outstanding year. He truly is a deserving WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.”
Fellow WypAll Wipers spokesman Kenny Francis also recognized the efforts of Ford throughout the 2007 season. “I go way back with Mike, back to the No. 88 car and then we worked together at the No. 9 car,” commented Francis. “Great to see him get recognized for his talents. He is good friend and I am happy for him. This is a well-deserved honor for Mike. Congratulations!"
“We are very pleased to award the 2007 WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Year award to Mike Ford,” added Merrill. “Mike did a fantastic job this year and displayed good pit strategy on several occasions. Denny Hamlin was in contention for the Nextel Cup for most of the season due in large part to Mike’s leadership and hard work. We are proud of Mike’s accomplishments and wish him success in the 2008 season.”
On winning the 2007 WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Year, Ford was presented with a check for $20,000. “There is no doubt that Mike Ford is responsible for much of the success with the No. 11 FedEx Chevy,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. “From the first time he and Denny Hamlin worked together they clicked. Mike is an important part of our team at Joe Gibbs Racing and more than that, a first class person.”
Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet, joined Gibbs in congratulating Ford on his efforts. "First of all, congratulations to Mike for winning this award. I have benefited a great deal from Mike and his experience. Not only is he building strong racecars and calling smart races from the box, but also he works hard to keep the team focused and working at a high level. I think I speak for the whole crew when I say congratulations and that we look forward to building on our success as a team so far and running for championship soon."