FedEx Team Defends Pit Crew Title

FedEx Team

The FedEx crew celebrates their second consecutive win in the Pit Crew Challenge. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The No. 11 FedEx team successfully defended their pit crew championship on Thursday night in the seventh annual Sprint Pit Crew Challenge at the Time Warner Cable Arena in uptown Charlotte.

Denny Hamlin's team became the first back-to-back winners of the special event after defeating the teams of drivers Marcos Ambrose, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson en route to the $70,675 prize.

The No. 11 team posted a time of 22.298 seconds to defeat the No. 48 Lowe's team (22.714 seconds) in the finals.The No. 11 team, consisting of Nate Bolling (jack man), Scott Wood (gas man), Justin White (second gas man), Nick Krizmanich (front-tire changer), Brandon Pegram (front-tire carrier), Mike Hicks (rear-tire changer) and Heath Cherry (rear-tire carrier), posted a time of 22.298 seconds to defeat the No. 48 Lowe's team (22.714 seconds) in the finals.

"It's especially gratifying to beat them (No. 48 team)," Wood said. "And going back-to-back is especially gratifying, too. But we'd trade this in a heartbeat to beat them at the end of the year, when it counts."

Heading into Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the FedEx team will have the first pick in pit selection as a result of tonight's win.

"Winning this last year is actually what got us the lead with 10 laps-to-go in the All-Star Race," Hamlin said. "The critical point of all this is that number one pit stall."

Pit Crew Challenge ResultsTony Stewart's No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot team, who lost to the No. 48 team in the semifinals, set a new event record of 21.472 seconds in the second round when they faced Clint Bowyer's No. 33 Cheerios team.

Both Stewart and Bowyer's team also saw crew members - Mike Casto (No. 14 jack man), Rick Pigeon (No. 14 gas man), Ryan Flores (No. 14 second gas man), Jason Pulver (No. 33 front-tire changer), Austin Craven (No. 33 front-tire carrier), Dustin Necaise (No. 33 rear-tire changer) and Matt Kreuter (No. rear-tire carrier) - take home individual honors after breaking previous records in each category.

"Man, what a great night for all of the crew guys and their families," Bowyer said. "I always tell everyone that I have the best pit crew in the business and these guys proved me right once again tonight. I am just really proud of them. They deserve this recognition."

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