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Carol Fitzgerald

Ryan Newman's pit crew looks strangely lethal now

From The Marbles

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Frankly, these guys don't look like they'd be all that fast. The tire carrier is in the wrong place, for one thing. And the front tire changer looks way too relaxed...Hey, wait a minute! That's not Ryan Newman's pit crew at all!

Okay, I just couldn't resist this photo. In fact, these are a few of America's finest from Fort Benning, Georgia, where during one of his several visits with the troops, Ryan somehow managed to con them into performing a pit stop on his car. While I'm certain that they were pleased and amused by the experience, it seems doubtful that they were able to accomplish it in under 15 seconds. Incidentally, in a bit of quid pro quo, Ryan's crew had to work their way through an Army exercise course. Doesn't seem quite fair, does it?

On the other hand, Ryan's actual crew did win the Tissot Award a couple weeks back, in the May 1 Crown Royal Heath Calhoun 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (NASCAR is still researching ways to make race names longer.)

Who is Tissot and why do they care? Turns out they have been making fine Swiss timepieces since 1853, and they are the official watch and timekeeper for NASCAR and several other sports. The award goes to the team that spends the least amount of time on pit road and finishes on the lead lap in each of the 36 points races during the season.

The winning team for each race gets $5,000 and a Tissot watch. (Just one? Or one for each team member? Hmmm...) At the end of the year, the best team overall wins a $100,000 bonus. NOW we're talking. That'll buy more than a case or two of beer. Greg Biffle's team got the big dollars last year; it'll be interesting to watch and see who wins it this year! (See what I did there?)

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