Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Fastest and the Furious

Mistake free and fast — a lethal combination no crew could contend with when it went against the No. 83 team Thursday night.

The seven men who service Brian Vickers’ Red Bull Toyota didn’t earn a single penalty in churning out five straight stops under 23 seconds to win the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge, as well as the first-place prize of $70,675. And then there’s that little thing called bragging rights.

“Consistency breeds the speed,” said Greg Miller, Red Bull Racing Team’s pit crew coach. “When you get consistent, smooth and you don’t have to go back and make up for things you did wrong … that’s our whole philosophy, be consistent and we’ll be fast.”

The No. 83 team’s slowest time of the night (22.902 seconds) was fast enough in the finals against the No. 11 crew of Joe Gibbs Racing, which came in .109 of a second behind at 23.011. The event record entering the night was 23.35 seconds.

As soon as the car crossed the finish line, the team erupted in celebration and the Red Bull began flowing. There was a hint of Red Bull in the air during the victory lane trophy presentation that went to Brian Haaland (front changer), Aaron Schields (front carrier), Danny Kincaid (rear changer), Jake Brzozowski (rear carrier), Shaun Peet (jack man and team captain), Doug Newell (gas man) and Mike Metcalf (catch can).

“Tremendous athletes,” Vickers said. “They were awesome tonight. So focused. These guys are the best at what they do. This is when it counted, and it meant a lot to them. I’m proud of them.”

In the final two rounds, the full-time crewmen, after completing their individual tasks at four separate stations in the so-called slow lane, converged on the car and made up ground in the decisive 40-yard push thanks to sound strategy by strength coach Ben Cook. “We had the legs when it counted,” Schields said.

The victory gives the No. 83 team its choice of pit boxes for Saturday night’s Sprint Showdown at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but only if Vickers manages to race his way into the all-star event through the Open.

“We’re pretty confident our driver will get us into that deal. All the pressure is on him,” Peet said, smiling at Vickers.

Listen to the guys talk about their championship night in our audio section at

First round
83 (22.760) def. 8 (32.975)
Second round
83 (22.572) def. 20 (22.995)
83 (22.655) def. 88 (23.569)
83 (22.865) def. 29 (27.945)
83 (22.902) def. 11 (23.011)


Anonymous Andrew said...

Boosh! Way to go TRB! I was rooting for you all the way! Way to show everyone that you guys are a team to be reakoned with.

Now go get in the All Star Race!

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:37 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

YEEHAW!! GREAT JOB GUYS!!!!!!! Its great that the crew gets the recognition they deserve!!!! I am one PROUD TRB Fan!!!!

12:06 AM  
Blogger ncsuredbull said...

Way to go guys!!!

4:28 AM  
Anonymous savannah david said...

FANTASTIC!!! Great job guys. You're the best. I watched with great anticipation. You were obviously well prepared because each of the 5 times posted was better than the previous record of over 23 seconds. This is a prelude to BV's first visit to victory lane with your help. Go get 'em boys!

4:34 AM  
Anonymous Amzy said...

Great job boys! Lets keep op the fantastic stops and get TRB an ALL-STAR win!

4:50 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Awesome job guys!

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The #83 pitcrew is THE BEST of the best. Congrats! You guys owned them.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Gangsta said...

Great starts in the Open guys! BV is 2nd and AJ is 4th. Hope they both make the All-Star race!

3:46 PM  

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