Hendrick Motorsports pit crew tops all GTE challengers, finishes 5th overall
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 6, 2023) – Though the distinct roar of the NASCAR Garage 56 Chevrolet has earned global attention at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was NASCAR’s over-the-wall athletes who took center stage – and a victory – on Tuesday.
The Hendrick Motorsports pit crew topped 16 competitors in the GTE class to win the Pit Stop Challenge, despite being the only team competing with a manual jack. The five-person crew changed four Goodyear Eagle tires in 10.364 seconds, edging Northwest AMR by 0.12 seconds. They finished fifth overall, just 0.3 seconds behind the top finishing team.
“It was actually our fastest stop of the day, so I would say I was surprised, but also very pleased,” said Hendrick Motorsports Pit Crew Coach Evan Kureczka. “You can tell the fans were very impressed with the fact that we were using a jack to jack the car up. You could see the smiles on their faces, we put on a great show for the fans.”
Even more impressive is the fact it was the team’s first time working together in a competition setting.
“Over the past eight months we’ve put this team together and we’ve rolled with them the entire time and knew this is what we were going to bring to Le Mans, but we had to get them up to speed together,” Kureczka said.
The crew includes Dawson Backus (front tire changer), Mike Moss (rear tire changer), Donovan Williams (jackman), Cody French (front tire carrier) and Jarius Morehead (rear tire carrier). All five compete for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“This is a special moment to be able to represent Hendrick Motorsports, represent our families, America and NASCAR as a whole,” said Williams, the only jackman competing in the competition. “We just relied on our training and it came into place instinctively. I think we all just went out there and performed and didn’t think too much.
“That’s what’s special about sports – we all come from athletic backgrounds and were able to lean on that when you talk about canceling out the crowd, locking in and being in the moment. It was a special moment and we were able to capitalize.”
The Garage 56 project is a partnership between NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear – the winningest team, manufacturer and tire in the sport’s 75-year history. The Garage 56 Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will be driven by 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller in this weekend’s 100th anniversary running of the world-famous endurance race.
Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2023, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR sanctions races in three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series™), four international series (NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race, NASCAR Mexico Series, NASCAR Pinty’s Series (Canada), NASCAR Whelen Euro Series), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and a local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races annually in 12 countries and more than 30 U.S. states. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).
About the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)
International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) was originally founded in 1969 and owns a long and rich history in sports car racing. Today, IMSA is the sanctioning body of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the premier sports car racing series in North America. IMSA also sanctions the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and the IMSA Prototype Challenge, as well as four one-make series: Ferrari Challenge North America, Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and Porsche Carrera Cup North America. IMSA – a company within the NASCAR family – is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. For more information please visit IMSA.com, www.twitter.com/IMSA, www.facebook.com/IMSA or www.instagram.com/imsa_racing.
About Hendrick Motorsports
Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest team in NASCAR Cup Series history. At the sport’s premier level, the organization holds the all-time records in every major statistical category, including championships (14), points-paying race victories (291) and laps led (more than 77,000). It has earned at least one race win in a record 38 different seasons, including an active streak of 37 in a row (1986-2022). The team fields four full-time Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 entries in the NASCAR Cup Series with drivers Alex Bowman, William Byron, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson. Headquartered on more than 100 acres in Concord, North Carolina, Hendrick Motorsports employs approximately 600 people. For more information, please visit HendrickMotorsports.com or interact on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, available in 80 countries with more than 3.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2020. Chevrolet models include electric and fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
About The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs about 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 57 facilities in 23 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.