Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Pit Crew Is Best at Talladega

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IApril 29, 2009

TALLADEGA, AL - APRIL 26:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, comes in for a pit stop during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 26, 2009 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

It sounds like a joke, an oxymoron, ironic or a Who-Would-Have-Thought moment.

After all their early season troubles and their pit road struggles, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 team won the pit crew award for the race at Talladega Super Speedway.

The team has not only performed below average on the race track, but pit road seemed to be their achilles heel. 

Earnhardt Jr. repeatedly missed his pit stall or was caught speeding and the team was either too slow or had problems with lug nuts.

But on Sunday at the Talladega Super Speedway, Earnhardt Jr. showed that he still knows how to drive a race car, and the pit crew showed they knew how to perform flawless pit stops.

The No. 88 was one of the strongest cars all day, led 20 laps, and missed all the big wrecks to come home in a solid second place finish. 

It was their first top-five of the season. 

Everyone did their job on Sunday and they have been rewarded for it with the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award.

The team earns $5,000 and remain in the running for the season-ending award of $100,000, and a Tissot watch which will go to both the crew and the driver of the fastest pit crew at the end of the season.

Jeff Gordon's team currently leads the standings.

Crew chief for the No. 88 team, Tony Eury Jr. had this to say: "I am very happy about this award. We have spent a lot of time and effort to make the AMP/National Guard crew great and this award shows that effort. They had awesome pit stops all day at Talladega. I'm really happy for the guys."

The total time between all of the No. 88 team's pit stops on Sunday was 255.440 seconds, the least amount of time of any other crew.

The men who go over the wall for the No. 88 led by their pit crew coach Mark Mauldin are: Kip Wolfmeier (front-tire changer), Ben Fishbeck (front-tire carrier), Greg Burkhart (rear-tire changer), Matt Myers (rear-tire carrier), Mark Jacobs (jackman), Chris Fasulka (gasman), and Jason Dalrymple (catch can).

The No. 88 team and Dale Earnhardt Jr. head to Richmond this weekend where they are still looking for their first win of the year.

Quote Source: Racingone.com