Personnel changes? Yes. Mega-pressure? Seven-times yes. Continued excellence in the face of
the above? Absolutely.
It was a banner year for the No. 48 of
Jimmie Johnson, and it went beyond just
the driver. The pit crew team underwent
two rare personnel changes, including the
loss of a front tire changer just one month
before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint
Cup started, but didn't miss a beat.
In fact, the team improved with
time, saving its best performance for
Homestead-Miami Speedway in which a
flawless day in the pits saw Johnson gain
spots late … putting the driver in prime
position to pull away for his record-tying
The showing in Miami was the most
important work day of the year given the
stakes, but certainly it wasn't the only
instance of execution under the most
trying of circumstances.
Martinsville Speedway, known for its
small pit boxes and tricky configuration,
didn't trip up the No. 48 team – a strong
day in the pits during the October race
helped lead to a victory and clinched a
berth in the championship race.
For all of the above reasons, the No. 48
is winner of the Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, the longest-running
and most prestigious pit crew award in the
sport. This is the 15th annual award and
ends Stewart-Haas Racing's two-year pit
Crew chief Chad Knaus manages the
over-the-wall crew with Chris Burkey
serving as the pit coach. Burkey is widely
lauded for his recruitment of collegiate
athletes to pit road.
Along with Mechanix Wear's prestigious
MVPC award, the team has landed a
check for $100,000 for its outstanding
performance on pit road.
The MVPC award serves as a testament
to consistent performance on pit road.
Each quarter of the Sprint Cup season,
NASCAR crew chiefs vote for the pit crew
contributing the most to the success of
their team on race day. Each quarter of
the season a semi-finalist is awarded a
check for $5,000 and an opportunity to
win Mechanix Wear's Most Valuable Pit
Crew award. Learn more about the history
and past winners of Mechanix Wear’s
Most Valuable Pit Crew at mechanix.com.