While all the media attention has centered around the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, there has been another battle quietly brewing in the background, and one that had a great effect on the final Sprint Cup standings.
The Tissot Pit Road Precision Award recognizes the fastest crew in every Sprint Cup race and at the end of the season the overall championship. Of the 36 races this season 19 teams received the individual race award, $5000 and a Tissot watch for each race.
At seasons end, four teams had tied for the overall Tissot Pit Road Precision Award, representing three of the four manufacturers currently running in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition. Matt Kenseth’s #17 Ford ‘Killer Bees’ had four wins this season, Jeff Gordon’s #24 crew formerly known as the ‘Rainbow Warriors’ also had chalked up four wins as did Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota crew and Jamie McMurrays #1 Chevy crew.
Clint Bowyer’s #33 crew was in fifth, while three teams tied for sixth and eleven teams tied for ninth. All the chase contenders except for Jeff Burton’s #31 crew and Denny Hamlin’s #11 crew garnered weekly Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins.
The end of the season four way tie was settled by a tie breaker that awarded the winner based on the final NASCAR Sprint Cup points standings. Matt Kenseth’s ‘Killer Bees’ came out on top with their fifth place finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup and received the end of season bonus of $105,000 and a set of Tissot watches for their season long efforts. The #24 Chevy came up short in second, the #18 Toyota third and the #1 Chevy in fourth.
It’s important to note that the #24 Chevy crew would have had five weekly wins adding in the win they chalked up at Phoenix International Raceway when Rick Hendrick made his crew swap to give Jimmie Johnson a leg up in the championship fight. It was the only Tissot award for the #48 team this season. This would have secured the overall Tissot Pit Road Precision Award and the $105k for the #24 crew.
Veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig calls the shots for the award winning #17 crew. They are coached by Andy Ward. The #17 crew that will receive an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas to accept the prize money and Tissot watches at the Champion’s Week NASCAR/NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon are:
Justin Nottestad – Front-tire changer
Joe Crossen – Front-tire carrier
Dave Smith – Rear-tire changer
Garrett Reding – Rear-tire carrier
Cameron Cobb – Jackman
Brad Robison – Gasman
Dave McDonald – Catch can