Roswell, GA (July 6, 2011) – Drew Blickensderfer, crew chief for the No. 6 UPS Ford driven by David Ragan, has been named the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race following Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Raceway.
Blickensderfer and team had a plan from the very start of the race as Ragan drove off from the fifth starting position – partner up with teammate Matt Kenseth. And they stuck to their guns all night, through 425 miles, which included two green-white-checker flag restarts in overtime.
Ragan came in for his final pit stop on lap 132 of the scheduled 160-lap race (wound up being 170 laps), and with a good handling car, Blickensderfer called for two tires only and fuel. Kenseth pitted also, the tandem stayed together, and following two green-white-checker flag restarts, Ragan cruised to victory, with Kenseth pushing him across the finish line for the win.
Ragan was a dominant force in the season-opening Daytona 500, but late in the race while running up front, he was black flagged for switching lanes before the start-finish line on a restart, which is a rules violation. He was relegated to 14th, but made amends Saturday.
“What a redeeming race after that heartbreaking loss at the Daytona 500 earlier this year,” said WYPALL Wipers crew chief representative and FOX/Speed analyst Jeff Hammond. “Drew made all the right calls (two vs. four tires). What a heartwarming win.”
WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Results
Steve Addington, Kurt Busch and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team had potential to win, but fell short, claiming 14th after not having the necessary track position at the end of the night.
Busch, who partnered with Regan Smith, led a total of six laps but unfortunately got tangled up in a last-lap crash, resulting in his 14th-place finish.
“It’s a tough deal getting collected in that wreck,” Busch said. “Regan and I were making our move and then I just saw smoke and cars spinning in front of us. I was just about to miss it on the high groove, but got clipped and that nearly ripped the entire driver-side door off. We had to come in under caution and make some repairs; that cost us all of our track position. A decent point’s night for us.
“This is some strange racing,” said Addington. “Kurt drove a great race. We got hooked-up with the 78 and just rode around all night. So much of this kind of racing is out of your control. You just try put yourself in position to have a shot at winning at the end. We just got caught up in the wrecks. Our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge was fast. We had a great car. We’ll take a 14th and head to Kentucky.”
Paul Wolfe and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge of Brad Keselowski finished right behind teammate Busch in 15th.
After successfully fixing a loose wheel on lap 94, Wolfe instructed his driver to continue to partner with Greg Biffle. He was able to push Keselowski into the lead on lap 112, but after the No. 16 experienced some motor issues, the Wolfe-led team could quite gain back that track position.
“Eventful is a great word for what went on out there those last few laps,” said Keselowski. “I’m happy to bring home a decent finish with the Miller Lite Dodge in one piece. We got a little off there about two-thirds of the way through the race and fell behind. We just didn’t get the opportunity to get that track position back. It was a decent finish for us. We wanted a little more. We’ll just work a little harder to get it.”
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.