The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Fennig Wins Fourth RCA Award; Takes Lead for $50,000 Prize

24 September 1997

CHARLOTTE, NC - Jimmy Fennig won his first three RCA Pit Strategy
Awards for helping put Mark Martin and the Valvoline Ford up front.

He grabbed his fourth for keeping him there. 

For helping Martin win the fuel mileage race to make his fourth trip
to victory lane this season, crew chief Fennig won his fourth RCA Pit
Strategy Award and took the lead in the chase for the year-end prize
of $50,000.

Fennig will be presented with a check for $5,000 and a 36" stuffed
Nipper dog during pre-race ceremonies this weekend at Martinsville.

Mileage is something Martin, who now trails Jeff Gordon for the
Winston Cup championship by 105 points with six events left, used to
"grouch" about to his crew and car owner Jack Roush.

"We used to come up short all the time," Martin said. "But, today we
had big mileage. We've been working on it all year."

While Martin is always quick to credit his crew, Fennig may have to
give this RCA award to Roush.

"It was all Jack Roush," Martin said. "He said he was going to win us
a race on fuel mileage and he did. We had a great race car, but Kyle
Petty had us covered. But, Jack took care of him."

Fennig won two RCA Pit Strategy Awards in a row during the spring for
helping Martin recover from poor qualifying positions to finish in the
top-5. At Bristol in April, Martin started 23rd, which also meant a
backstretch pit, but quick pit work and Martin's ability to stay out
of trouble landed him a fifth-place finish. The very next weekend,
Martin had to use a provisional at Martinsville and thus was relegated
once again to the backstretch pits.

Undaunted, Fennig and crew moved Martin up to third.

At Michigan in August, the improbable happened.

Martin, who qualified on the outside of the front row, blew a tire and
lost two laps in the pits making repairs. Fennig refused to let Martin
or his crew lose their focus, and with the help of teammate Jeff
Burton, Martin was able to get back onto the lead lap and win the
race. For that Fennig was awarded his third dog of the season and
jumped into a tie at the top of the standings.

Fennig becomes the first crew chief to have sole possession of the
lead since Terry Labonte's chief Gary DeHart had command in July. Jim
Long, crew chief on the Tide Ford, made it a two-way battle after the
Brickyard 400.

DeHart, Long and Ray Evernham all trail Fennig with three awards
apiece as the season winds to a close. The crew chief with the most
awards will receive a check for $50,000 at the Winston Cup Awards
banquet in New York in December.

By RCA Racing Public Relations