Jeff Stankiewicz Earns 2018 Cometic Crew Chief of the Year Award En Route to Series Championship with Sheldon Creed

Jeff Stankiewicz Earns 2018 Cometic Crew Chief of the Year Award En Route to Series Championship with Sheldon Creed

Veteran crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz capped a successful championship season with his driver Sheldon Creed by locking up the 2018 Cometic Crew Chief of the Year Award at Kansas Speedway.

Registered crew chiefs score points by adding their team's starting position and finishing position at each race. The crew chief whose team has the lowest score at each race earns the crew chief of the race award, and the crew chief with the lowest points total at the end of the season is named Cometic Crew Chief of the Year.

Stankiewicz, who also helmed Grant Enfinger's run to the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship with GMS Racing, had two perfect scores in 2018 when Creed won from the pole at Gateway and Iowa, adding just two points per race to his crew chief of the year points total. He scored three points when he won from the second starting position at Michigan and Kansas, and when he started from the pole at Chicagoland and finished second.

The highest point total Stankiewicz added to his score all season long was 23, when Creed started fifth and finished 18th at Toledo after being swept into a crash.

"Sheldon just has a lot of raw talent," Stankiewicz said after Creed clinched the championship with his fourth win of the season at Kansas. "It was a lot of fun working with him. It's a lot easier to try to slow him down than it is to speed him up. When we got the point lead and it started to build up, I think he started to understand that consistency is what would win the championship, not running all out every lap."

Working with a young driver without a lot of stock car experience does often present challenges, which Stankiewicz and the MDM Motorsports Toyota team worked through diligently.

"Sometimes you just have to yell at him," he joked. "He's young and he's learning. He's made some mistakes, and we've made some mistakes. This is a developmental series and that's what it's all about, learning from your mistakes. You can make a mistake once and that's okay, but if you make it over again then that's a problem. He's definitely done a great job of learning from them."

Stankiewicz finished ahead of Venturini Motorsports' Kevin Reed, who won races with drivers Christian Eckes, Chandler Smith, and Michael Self. Mardy Lindley, who called the shots for MDM Motorsports driver Zane Smith was third, Joe Gibbs Racing's Bootie Barker, who sat atop the pit box for Riley Herbst, was fourth, and Win-Tron Racing's Jamie Jones, shot caller for Gus Dean, was fifth.

Stankiewicz will be honored as the Cometic Crew Chief of the Year at the annual ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Awards Banquet on December 8, held in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show at the Indiana State Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

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