Roswell, GA (March 23, 2011) – Slugger Labbe, crew chief for the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet driven by Paul Menard, has been named the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race following Sunday’s Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS).
The Labbe-led team help Menard accomplish many “firsts” in his career at Bristol. He had his best start (4th) at BMS, best finish (5th) and led at the .533 high-banked oval for the first time ever (was up front for 35 laps). Just as impressive was the fact that Menard ran in or around the top 10 throughout the day.
After battling tight handling conditions, Labbe and crew were able to make the right adjustments to the car to keep Menard in the mix. After a series of cautions and restarts, the Labbe-led crew aided their driver in gaining spots on pit road. Menard started eighth on a restart on lap 436, but then fought his way up to the fifth at the race’s conclusion. He now stands 5th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Points standings.
“The CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet was fast all weekend. Slugger and the No. 27 guys did a great job getting it adjusted with the new tires,” said Menard. “I am very proud of all these guys and the start we’ve had to our season. What’s cool is that we’ve been to four very different race tracks and we’ve had strong runs at all of them. I think this is a testament to Slugger and everyone at RCR. Slugger has built a hell of a race team and we are just having a lot of fun right now.”
“Slugger led his driver to a great qualifying start and then [Paul] to lead a career high 35 laps is pretty strong,” said WYPALL Wipers crew chief representative and FOX/Speed analyst Jeff Hammond. “Slugger has a lot of caliber and has great experience. Since joining RCR, he has displayed the leadership this young team needed and has just what it takes to be named the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race”.
WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Results
Steve Addington led Kurt Busch’s No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team to an impressive seventh place finish, earning his fourth top-10 of the season. Starting from the 20th position, the Addington-led team made the right calls to keep Busch, who is now in sole possession of the points lead, in contention all day.
“We’ve shown some pretty good consistency so far this season and that’s something our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Team is very proud of,” said Addington. “If we can keep it up, we’re hopeful that the wins will come our way. It really feels good to come out of Bristol with the points lead, but we realize that we have to get stronger to stay up there running with these guys every week as the season goes on.”
Paul Wolfe and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge of Brad Keselowski finished a disappointing 18th after fighting an ill-handling car and going down two laps due to a flat tire. Despite the bad luck, the Wolfe-led team was able to nurse the car back to a condition that allowed them to get the Lucky Dog and finish on the lead lap.
“I’m telling you, this Miller Lite Dodge was much better than an 18th-place car today,” said Keselowski. “Despite being torn up and running a couple of laps down for most of the race, we sure did pass a lot of cars today. I’m excited about that and excited about the speed we had today. We just continue to get caught up in situations not of our own making. But if we continue to have cars like we did today, the finishes will come.”
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.