CONCORD, N.C. -- He's back! Andy Papathanassiou crushed the second round of the "North Jersey's Greatest Male Athlete" which is being put on by his hometown New Jersey newspaper, "The Bergen Record."
Papathanassiou won by a whopping 84% in the second round but Hendrick Motorsports' director of human performance is ready to move on to the third segment of the bracket.
Papathanassiou got his start on the NASCAR circuit in 1993 when he joined then-rookie Jeff Gordon's team as a member of the pit crew. He saw this as an opportunity to reinvent how pit crews operate and make it more of an athletic team process instead of individual exercises. The techniques worked and Gordon saw himself dominating the NASCAR circuit.
"When Jeff was running up front or when he was starting to get into the top 10 or top five and we were able to advance him all the way up to the lead, that's when people started catching on," Papathanassiou said of his pit style.
After Gordon won his first championship in 1995, the majority of pit crews were using the same techniques Papathanassiou implemented a couple of years earlier, which made him a big name on the NASCAR circuit and a hero in his hometown of Emerson, New Jersey.
"Like everything in NASCAR, when you do something different and it shows itself to produce an advantage, people start to notice and copy," he said.
Before he joined Hendrick Motorsports in North Carolina, Papathanassiou was a prolific track and football athlete. He was the New Jersey shot put record holder for over a decade, played football at Stanford and still holds the Bergen County shot put record.
To vote for Papathanassiou in the "North Jersey's Greatest Male Athlete" challenge and see the field of competitors, click here. Voting in the third round starts May 7 and goes through May 8 at 7 p.m. ET.