Michael "Fatback" McSwain wins IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week

Sawing through adversity, No. 28 crew chief Michael "Fatback" McSwain home IRWIN Crew Chief Of The Week honors. VERNON HILLS, Ill., June 11, 2002 - Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Havoline Ford, finished 17th in last weekend's Pocono 500 NASCAR ...

Michael "Fatback" McSwain wins IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week

Sawing through adversity, No. 28 crew chief Michael "Fatback" McSwain home IRWIN Crew Chief Of The Week honors.

VERNON HILLS, Ill., June 11, 2002 - Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Havoline Ford, finished 17th in last weekend's Pocono 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Although Rudd led the most laps and looked like he had things well in hand, late in the race he reported that he had a slow leak in one of his tires. The tire problem cost him the win, and he eventually wrecked the car trying to make it to the finish. Despite the disappointing day on the track, crew chief of the No. 28, Michael "Fatback" McSwain, is this week's IRWIN "Rough to the Finish" award for leading the Havoline team to an impressive finish in the face of adversity. "I can't believe this happened to us," McSwain said. "We were sitting there with a one second advantage just counting the laps down. The crew does a great job week in and week out getting us prepared to race on Sundays. We have really good race cars, just no luck at all to go along with them. This award is a credit to all of their hard work. Now, maybe lady luck will shine on us."

Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, IRWIN, makers of professional power tool accessories like MARATHON PLUS saw blades and SPEEDBOR flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish.

"IRWIN is proud to honor the hard-working crew chiefs of NASCAR Winston Cup Racing with this award," said Chris Connington, Vice President, Marketing, IRWIN. "Much like our line of bits and blades optimize a power tool's performance, these professionals have had to perform in all types of conditions, with many surprises and under intense pressure. Through the course of the race the selected crew has been able to optimize their car's performance."

The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team's name. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338.

In addition to the crew chief award, IRWIN is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons", throughout the upcoming year.

"Working with Benny Parsons and the PRN family is a natural fit for the IRWIN bits and blades line," said Connington. "The NASCAR fan-base is a hands-on group of people that are driven to do it themselves, if they can. IRWIN bits and blades are engineered to last long and provide precise cuts that will help professionals and DIYers do their best work."

IRWIN offers a complete line of saw blades and drill bits. From framing to the finest trim work; the performance of your bit and/or blade can be the difference between a long, hard day or one that runs smooth and easy. IRWIN specializes in the engineering and the manufacturing of these high performance bits and blades. Each is engineered to last, to deliver precision cuts and to optimize the output of your power tool. IRWIN drill bits includes SPEEDBOR wood boring bits, TURBOMAX drill bits, UNI-BIT step drill bits, and the unique IRWIN multi-purpose drill bits that penetrate various materials such as brick, marble, plastic, metal, cement and wood. A complete list of IRWIN products and capabilities is online at www.irwintool.com.

IRWIN is a brand of American Tool Companies, Inc., a global manufacturer and marketer of top-quality hand tools, power tool accessories, clamping tools and marking tools. American Tool Companies employs more than 4,000 people at facilities in Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Maine, New York and in 11 other countries.

American Tool's product portfolio includes branded hand tools such as VISE-GRIP® locking tools, QUICK-GRIP® clamping tools and STRAIT-LINE® marking tools in addition to power tool accessories, such as IRWIN® drill bits and MARATHON® saw blades. American Tool is a division of Newell Rubbermaid Inc., a global marketer of consumer products with 2001 sales of nearly $7 billion and a powerful brand family, including Sharpie®, Paper Mate®, Parker®, Waterman®, Rubbermaid®, Blue Ice®, Calphalon®, Little Tikes®, Graco®/Century®, Levolor®, Kirsch®, Shur-Line®, and Eldon®. The company is headquartered in Freeport, Illinois and employs 49,000 people worldwide.

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