Napa Know How Team Named 2012 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew
In NASCAR, the best insurance for a good finish is a great pit crew. And for the No. 56 NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew, they’re hard work and strong performance on pit road this year has earned them the Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award for 2012.
This year celebrates the 11th annual Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Championship – the only authentic competition voted on by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs.
The No. 56 NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew won the first-quarter Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, which is determined by a vote of each team’s crew chief and given quarterly to top-performing pit crews.
A final vote among the quarterly winners – the No. 56, No. 16, No. 17 and No. 48 pit crews – was held at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the No. 56 NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew emerged as the overall end-year title winner.
“The importance of our job nowadays has come full circle since the 90’s,” said jackman Brian “Hootie” Chase, a 16-year veteran on pit road. “A lot of critiquing goes on these days, and rightfully so, our job is crucial.”
The No. 56 over-the-wall crew’s performance during the season helped deliver Martin Truex Jr. a berth in the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup, 7 top-5s and 19 top-10s.
“The NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew did a great job this year,” said Truex Jr. “They were very fast, but most importantly, they were consistent. Anytime I came in on green or yellow flag conditions, I could count on those guys to hold their own and make no mistakes.”
In addition to Chase, crew chief Chad Johnston’s over-the-wall pit crew consists of race day support Keith Koppenal, front tire changer Eric Maycroft, front tire carrier Craig Curione, rear tire changer Brandon Hopkins, rear tire carrier Adam Mosher, gas man Wes Evans, 2nd can man Joel Cox, athletic trainer Pam Brown, and head pit crew coach Greg Miller.
As the jackman, Chase triggers the start and completion of the pit stop and says with so much pressure on pit crews today, it’s nice to be acknowledged for quick, consistent performance on pit road.
“It’s a great honor for us and we’re excited to take the award,” Chase said. “Starting the season we set goals for ourselves not to make mistakes, no loose wheels and such. We hired some new guys over the off-season and we came together as a team pretty fast.”
The No. 56 NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew will be presented the 2012 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew of the Year trophy and receive $100,000 from sponsor Mechanix Wear on Thurs. Nov. 29 at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon held 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m. PT, at Encore Las Vegas. The event will be streamed live on NASCAR.COM.