October 20th, 2010
Jamie McMurray bagged three post-race contingency awards after winning the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday. (HHP/Alan Marler Photo)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jamie McMurray and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet streaked past a number of contenders for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title en route to victory and three post race contingency awards in Saturday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
McMurray and the team captured the Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race Award and the Sunoco Diamond Performance Award as the highest-finishing eligible driver. The team also won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award, earned by the team who spends the least amount of time on pit road and finishes the race on the lead lap.
“After coming so close in the 600 earlier in the season, I really felt like anything less than winning this weekend would have been disappointing,” said McMurray, driver of the No. 1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing car. “We had such a great car in the spring, and it just wasn’t good enough on the short run. And tonight it was very similar to that, and as I was catching Kyle towards the end of the race, I thought as long as the caution came out, I could catch him, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to have enough speed to outrun him in 25 or 30 laps. But man, it was just our night. Our car was unbelievable those last like, 25 or 30 laps. It was effortless to drive and it had a lot of speed in it. It was just a really good night for us.”
In winning its fourth Tissot Pit Road Precision Award, the No. 1 team pulls into a tie for the annual award with the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team. Several other year-end award standings were shaken up on Saturday in Charlotte.
In the race for the DirecTV Crew Chief of the Race Award, Dave Rogers, crew chief for the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing M&M’s Toyota, captured his fifth DirecTV Crew Chief of the Race Award this week. This places Rogers in a tie for the lead with the No. 29 team’s Gil Martin. The award is given to the crew chief of the driver who has demonstrated the best qualifying and race effort based on the lowest average of a team’s starting and finishing position.
The Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap of the Race Award is earned by turning the quickest lap of the event while leading. On Saturday, Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, earned his fourth Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap of the Race Award, giving him four weekly awards on the season. He is currently tied for the lead for the year-end honors with Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet.
Competition for the Wix Filters Lap Leader Award is deadlocked with Busch taking home his sixth weekly award in this category after leading 217 laps of Saturday night’s race. He is currently tied with teammate Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 FedEx team for the year-end award.
The No. 11 team took home the weekly O’Reilly Auto Parts Position Improvement Award, presented to the eligible driver who improves the most spots from their starting to finishing position. The No. 11 team jumped 19 spots during the race Saturday night. It was the fourth time they have taken these honors, and now sit tied for the lead in that annual category with No. 29 Kevin Harvick.
The awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the Contingency Program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories. The annual awards will be presented during Champion’s Week at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards event in Las Vegas, Nev.
Official winners of this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:
Coors Light Pole Award: Jeff Gordon (191.544 mph., 28.192 seconds)
DirecTV Crew Chief of the Race Award: Dave Rogers (crew chief for Kyle Busch)
Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Award: Kyle Busch (184.837 mph, lap 30)
Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race Award: Mark Cronquist (No. 18 Kyle Busch)
Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race Award: Jamie McMurray
Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Race Award: Chad Knaus (crew chief for Jimmie Johnson)
O’Reilly Auto Parts Position Improvement Award: Denny Hamlin (19 places)
Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Jamie McMurray
Tissot Pit Road Precision Award: Jamie McMurray (284.026 seconds)
Wix Filters Lap Leader Award: Kyle Busch (217 laps)