Roswell, GA (March 2, 2011) – Alan Gustafson, crew chief for the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet driven by Jeff Gordon, has been named the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race following Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
In just his second Cup race as crew chief for the team, Gustafson helped Gordon end a 66-race winless streak. Gordon led a race-high 138 laps in the 312-lap event. With 29 laps remaining during the final pit stop of the day, Gustafson made a crucial call for four tires and fuel while other front-runners only took only two tires. Following a caution, Gordon restarted 3rd on lap 290, eventually catapulting back up front. He hounded, and then passed Kyle Busch with five laps remaining to capture the win – his 83rd career triumph tying him for fifth on the all-time win list with Cale Yarborough.
“It’s a huge win for both Jeff and myself,” said Gustafson, a Hendrick Motorsports veteran who joined Gordon’s No. 24 team for the 2011 season. “Winning is what we do this for and we finally got the pay out.”
“After only such a short time together, coming back to rebound after Daytona is pretty remarkable” said WYPALL Wipers crew chief representative and FOX/Speed analyst Jeff Hammond. “Making the call for four tires there at the end was the key move and put the No. 24 machine back in victory lane after a long drought.”
The Gustafson-led team came to Phoenix determined to rebound from their struggles in Daytona where Gordon was involved in a multi-car crash early in the race. When the green flag fell over desert valley on Sunday, and with only one race as a team under their belt, it was evident that Gustafson and company were going to be dominant as Gordon quickly moved to the front from his 20th starting position.
WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Results
Steve Addington led Kurt Busch’s No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team to an impressive eighth place finish. He led 3 times for 31 laps. Starting from the outside pole, the Addington-led team made constant air pressure and track bar adjustments throughout the race. The team now sits second in the championship standings behind brother Kyle.
“We just have to keep working on getting our cars turning better,” Addington said. “Kurt never gave up and drove his guts out all day. We probably had a 12th-place car there at the end of the race, but Kurt was able to get us a solid top-10 finish out of it.”
Paul Wolfe and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge of Brad Keselowski scored a solid 15th-place finish after they were able to avoid a multi-car crash on lap 67. Keselowski experienced some tight-handling conditions, but Wolfe and company made the appropriate adjustments throughout the race in an effort to stay up front.
WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Voting Team
Addington and Wolfe, along with Hammond and Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Claire B. Lang, serve as the panel for the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Challenge and vote for the weekly crew chief winners.
Each weekly WYPALL Crew Chief Challenge winner will be a guest on Lang’s “Dialed In” program on Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 128 at 8 p.m. EST on Wednesdays throughout the season.
The crew chief with the most weekly top wins will be honored as the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and will be presented a $10,000 check during the weekend of the WYPALL 200 Presented by Kimberly-Clark Professional Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, November 12, 2011.
About WYPALL Wipers:
Since 2004, Kimberly-Clark Professional’s WYPALL Wipers brand has been affiliated with some of racing’s top teams. Offering heavy-duty to versatile light-duty towels, WYPALL Wipers provides race teams with a number of products providing strength and durability. Defeating the toughest of challenges, from absorbing tough grease and oil to wiping down windshields without leaving residue behind, WYPALL Wipers continue to offer performance and versatility.
The WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Challenge will continue throughout the remainder of the 2011 season and spotlight the men behind the machines. For more information, log onto www.wypall.com.
About Penske Racing
Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced 332 major race wins, 396 pole positions and 23 National Championships. The team has also earned 15 Indianapolis 500 victories. For more information about Penske Racing, please visit www.penskeracing.com.