Concord, N.C. (March 19, 2008) – Who are those crazy guys who jump out on pit road in front of the No. 16 3M/Dish Network/Jackson Hewitt Ford without hesitation or concern that the car might not stop? Well, they are a team. They work as a team, they train as a team, they move as a team and they’re already turning a few heads as a team to beat on pit road.
On the final pit stop of the day in Atlanta, the No. 16 pit crew knocked out a 12.4-second pit stop and picked up five positions on pit road putting Biffle solidly in the top five for the final laps of the race. Last weekend at Bristol, they didn’t have a stop slower than a 13.7 and picked up a total of four positions throughout the race for driver Greg Biffle.
“I can’t say enough about this pit crew,” said Biffle. “I was a little hard on them at the beginning of the year but I think they are really starting to come together as a team. I think we all just needed to calm down and I told them that we don’t always have to pick up five positions on pit road. Which is nice, don’t get me wrong, but we just can’t lose positions. If we can leave where we came in every week or pick up a couple of spots here and there, the consistency will be the biggest benefit every time. Then it’s up to me to get it done on the track.”
Leading off this year’s pit crew is the jackman Mike Klein. Klein came to the 16 team from the Roush Fenway Racing No. 26 team with driver Jamie McMurray and along with the rest of the team, adheres to a strict practice and workout schedule throughout the week. Ryan Dextraze is the only returning member from the 2007 No. 16 team pit crew and is responsible for the catch can during the pit stops. Working with Dextraze on the fueling responsibilities is Billy Manchester. Billy is also the shock specialist for the team and moved to the Sprint Cup Series for Roush from Biffle’s 2007 No. 16 Nationwide team.
Now that we’ve got the car lifted and fueled, let’s get to the business of tire changing. Brian Bottlemy made the transition from rear changer on the No. 6 Discount Tire Nationwide entry with David Ragan to front tire changer for Biffle in early January. Bottlemy can’t do his job without the help of front tire carrier Colin Pasi. Pasi came to Roush from Dale Earnhardt Inc. where he was a tire carrier for the No. 01 car of Mark Martin. Pasi also has an engineering degree from UNC Charlotte and works as a project engineer during the week at the shop.
Changing the rear tires on the No. 16 Fusion is Kyle Power who came to Roush Fenway Racing from the No. 18 Joe Gibbs entry. Power is from Lyme, New Hampshire and is joined in the duty of changing the rear tires by Kevin McDowell from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. McDowell was a tire carrier for the No. 14 car of Sterling Marlin until the team shut down midway through last season and then became a road crew member for Mark Martin on the No. 01 team at DEI.
And that is the over-the-wall crew for the No. 16 3M/Dish Network/Jackson Hewitt team.
Front Changer: Brian Bottlemy/Johnsburg, IL
Front Carrier: Colin Pasi/Concord, NC
Rear Changer: Kyle Power/Lyme, NH
Rear Carrier: Kevin McDowell/Myrtle Beach, SC
Jackman: Michael Klein/Monroe, NC
Gas Man: Billy Manchester/Westport, MA
Catch Can: Ryan Dextraze/Wichita Falls, TX
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.