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Knaus Wins Crew Chief of the Year

  • Dec 30, 2002

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Dec. 20, 2002)—A combination of solid efforts and yearlong consistency both on the race track and in the pits was the formula for success that Chad Knaus used to win this year’s IRWIN “Crew Chief of the Year” award.

Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, IRWIN partnered with the Performance Racing Network to select the crew chief that had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish.

Knaus, crew chief of the No. 48 Lowe`s Home Improvement Warehouse Chevrolet, and Jimmy Fennig, crew chief of the No. 97 entry, out-dueled their competition to share the season-ending honor, each winning three weekly awards along the way. IRWIN will donate $5,000 to the Ellerbe, N.C., Educational Fund in their names.

Knaus led the No. 48 team to one of the most successful and highly visible rookie seasons in the modern era. In 2002, rookie driver Jimmie Johnson earned three victories, six top five and 21 top-10 finishes, along with taking second-place honors in the hotly contested rookie-of-the-year battle. Johnson was also a mainstay at the top of one of the most competitive championship races in NASCAR history, finishing fifth overall, just 200 points out of first place.

“This award is a testament to the persistence and determination our team showed all year,” Knaus said. “Despite some bad luck along the way, week in and week out these guys remained focused and committed to putting our best effort out on the track.

“From the consistent efforts on the track and in the pits to our race preparation each week, this team did a heck of a job this season. My hat`s off to them and our whole racing organization.”

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