Longtime NASCAR crew chief Jimmy Fennig was presented with Charlotte Motor Speedway’s prestigious Smokey Yunick Award prior to Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL™ 400.
Presented annually since 1997 to honor famed mechanic Henry “Smokey” Yunick, the award recognizes an individual who rose from humble beginnings to make a major impact on the motorsports industry.
Fennig was an accomplished short track mechanic and crew chief before he moved south and began a distinguished career for Roush Fenway Racing. Fennig won 40 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races as crew chief for drivers including Mark Martin, Bobby Allison, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch. Fennig also won a Cup Series championship in 2004 with Busch.
“There are a lot of people I have to thank along the way, especially Jack Roush,” Fennig said. “Without all of the people we couldn’t have done it. We put in a lot of hard work. To receive this award is very special. … This ranks right at the top, almost rewarding as winning the Daytona 500.”
Fennig also spoke of the drivers he has been honored to work with during his career.
“All of them were good,” Fennig said. ”Mark Martin was probably the best, a very demanding driver. All in all, all of the drivers, they were all a pleasure to work with. They all had different styles of driving.”
Baseball Hall of Famer Chipper Jones a fan of the ROVALTM
Count Baseball Hall of Famer Chipper Jones as a fan of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVALTM.
The longtime Atlanta Braves player joined past major-league pitcher Matt Duff as guests of Richard Childress Racing and driver Daniel Hemric this weekend, thanks to Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff. Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff is a partner with “Major League Bowhunter,” Jones’ and Duff’s television show on the Sportsman Channel.
Jones said his experience at the ROVAL™ has been a special one.
“It’s fun to go to other tracks to see the different configurations,” Jones said. “Especially this. This is not your granddaddy’s Charlotte (Motor) Speedway. This is something new and it’s something that’s exciting. I don’t know how (Hemric) is, butterfly-wise, but I’m nervous as heck for these guys, because it’s going to be awesome.”
Smokey Mountain sponsored Hemric in two Monster Energy Cup Series races this season.
“To have these two gentlemen here sharing time with us, it’s a really cool deal for everybody,” Hemric said. “It’s a really cool deal for everybody and hopefully it gives fans an opportunity to be excited about something other than racing. The hype around this ROVALTM deal is just incredible.”
CMS PR (HHP/Tami Pope photo)