Roswell, GA (June 1, 2011) – Gil Martin, crew chief for the No. 29 Budweiser Armed Forces Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick, has been named the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race following Sunday night’s Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Late-race fuel strategy helped put the Martin-led team in position to win. The team’s final pit stop of the night came 57 laps from the end. Martin coached his driver to save fuel as they neared their window. Harvick, who started the race 28th, worked his way up to the fifth for a green-white-checkered restart, and once the green flag fell, cars in front of him began running out of gas. On the final lap, he sped past Denny Hamlin at the end of the backstretch for second, and coming out of the final turn, slipped past leader Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who was on fumes. It was Harvick’s third triumph of the season.
After battling an ill-handling car for the first half of the race, Martin and crew continued to make adjustments to the car as the sun set and track conditions began to change.
“They fought that car all night and just never gave up,” said WYPALL Wipers crew chief representative and FOX/Speed analyst Jeff Hammond.
“That fuel mileage call by Gil there at the end was critical, along with Harvick getting a push from his teammates Jeff Burton and Paul Menard. What a night for those guys!”
WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Results Steve Addington, Kurt Busch and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team finished fourth after winning the fuel mileage battle much like Harvick. Pitting on lap 345, Addington called for a full tank of gas. The move sent Busch from seventh back to 11th for the restart with 54 laps remaining (race went 402 laps instead of the advertised 400 laps), but it paid off in the end.
“I’ve seen fuel mileage win here before and I’ve finished runner-up with it,” said Addington. “Everybody did a good job on this Shell/Pennzoil Dodge tonight. We still have a ways to go to get our cars where we need them to get competitive with those Fords.
We’re headed in the right direction. Everybody stayed focused. The driver stayed focused and we got a good finish out of it.” Paul Wolfe and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge of Brad Keselowski finished a disappointing 19th after starting from the pole and running in contention for the win all night. The Wolfe-led team was strong, and on the final restart, was running fourth.
However, Kasey Kahne, just in front of the Blue Deuce, ran out of gas as the cars entered turn one. Keselowski had no where to go and ran in the back of Kahne, and was then hit from the back by Jeff Burton, who also had no where to go.
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 SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) 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.