Last weekend at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team claimed the 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory for car owner Rick Hendrick. On Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, that same team gave Hendrick his first-ever win in the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge.
“These guys have stepped up to the challenge,” crew chief Chad Knaus said.
To claim the championship, the No. 48 team had to defeat the two-time reigning winner of the the event, the No. 11 team from Joe Gibbs Racing, in the final round. With a flawless stop and fast 40-yard push the team did it.
With the Pit Crew Challenge win, the No. 48 team will have first pick during pit selection for Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team also won $80,675 and Johnson’s Jimmie Johnson Foundation received a donation of more than $9,000 from the NASCAR Foundation.
The No. 31 Richard Childress team dominated individual honors, with front tire changer Tim Sheets and front tire carrier J.D. Holcomb taking honors for the fastest front tire changer/tire carrier pair. Winning for the rear tire category were rear changer Jake Seminara and rear carrier Kenny Barber, also of the No. 31 team.
“This is my 14th season at changing tires,” Sheets said.
Other individual winners were Tom Lampe, gas man on the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team, and Jeff Kerr, jack man on the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team.
“It’s very, very hard, but we put in a lot of hard work and a lot of effort,” Kerr said.
Individual winners were each awarded $10,000.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR.
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