Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR Pyrotechnics and a walk-on by the top 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews kicks off the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman on Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

Tonight it is not about how fast you go on the track, but how the men who go over the wall perform. It is the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pit Crew Challenge. The Challenge kicks off all star weekend, and should be an exciting event to crown the best pit crew in the series.

The teams have already had a go with the stops for seeding in the challenge. Eight teams have earned a bye in the first round.

First teams in the elimination round will be the 22 Shell Penzoil Team (Penske Racing) vs. the 21 Motorcraft (Wood Brothers) team. Shell team wins it on the floor and takes it by a car length.

Next two teams are the 9 Stanley Tools (Michael Waltrip Racing) and the 11 FedEx (Joe Gibbs Racing) teams. The FedEx team is the returning champions for this event. The 11 team takes the win by about a car length.

Up now are the 27 Menards (Richard Childress Racing) and the 43 Best Buy (Richard Petty Motor Sports) teams. The 27 takes it.

Time now for the 1 Bass Pro Shops (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing) and the 16 3M (Roush Fenway Racing) teams. Greg Biffle’s team takes the win on the floor, but they are penalized five seconds and the 1 gets the win.

Next up are the 14 Office Depot (Stewart Hass Racing) and the 78 Furniture Row (Furniture Row Racing) teams. The 14 takes the team the win by a car length and a half.

The 24 DuPont (Hendrick Motor Sports) team vs. the 55 Napa Auto Parts (Michael Waltrip Racing) are next to do battle. The 24 team takes it by about three quarters of a car length.

The 42 Target (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing) team will now take on the 4 Red Bull (Red Bull Racing) team. The 4 gets the win by about a car length.

Now we get the 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine (Michael Waltrip Racing) and the 5 Go Daddy (Hendrick Motor Sports) teams to square off. 00 wins it via penalty.

NOW TIME FOR ROUND TWO!

First go in the second round will be the 22 vs. the 18 M & M’s (Joe Gibbs Racing) team. 22 takes their second win of the night.

We now get the 29 Budweiser (Richard Childress Racing) vs. the 11 team. The 11 team takes it by the nose of the car. Close race.

The 99 Aflac (Roush Fenway Racing) now takes on the 27. The 27 wins it big.

The 1 returns for their second round taking on the 88 National Guard (Hendrick Motor Sports) team. The 88 takes the win.

The 14 takes on the 33 Hamburger Helper (Richard Childress Racing) team. The 14 grabs the win. The 33 false started on the run as well. The 14 sets a new record for the fastest time ever in the competition.

Next we get the 17 Crown Royal (Roush Fenway Racing) taking on the 24. The push gives the 24 a win in a close race.

It is time now for the 39 U.S. Army (Stewart Hass Racing) team vs. the 4. It is the 4 that takes the win via penalty.

Last up in the second round is the 48 Lowe’s (Hendrick Motor Sports) vs. the 00 team. It is the 48 taking the win.

ROUND 3!

It is the 11 taking on the 22. It is the 11.

Here comes the 88 and the 27. It is the 88.

It is now time for the 14 to take on the 24 in the next matchup. The 14 gets the victory.

Last matchup for the third round is the 48 vs. the 4 team. It is the 48 winning it.

SEMI FINALS

First semi is the 88 taking on the 11. The 11 takes it with a win that was less than a tenth of a second difference.

Second semi is the 48 vs. the 14. The 48 team gets the win via penalties to go to the championship.

FINAL

It is Jimmie Johnson’s crew versus Denny Hamlin’s crew, the 48 vs. the 11. The 11 gets the victory to win the event for the second straight year, and to become the first repeat champion in the Pit Crew Challenge.

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