DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 3, 2007) ? Drivers are the ones in the spotlight when they climb out of the car in Victory Lane. But any driver will tell you they couldn?t get there without the guys who work on the car all week.

Now it?s the drivers? chance to say thank you in a big way, by voting for their favorite mechanic, as NASCAR and Craftsman Tools will once again team up to recognize the top mechanics in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

?The drivers, crew members and fans of the NASCAR Whelan All-Star Series are some of the best Craftsman customers,? said Scott Howard, manager, sponsorship and sales promotion for Sears. ?It?s a pleasure to build this award around this great weekly series. We?re trying to bring attention to the mechanics ? the behind-the-scenes people who make sure the drivers are ready to race weekin and weekout.?

The mechanic at each track who receives the highest number of votes will earn the distinction of Craftsman Mechanic of the Year track champion.

The three mechanics who collect the most votes will be invited to attend the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series banquet in Las Vegas, where the national champion will be announced. In addition, one of the three will be selected at random to be an honorary crew chief on a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team at the final race of the season at Miami-Homestead Speedway.

?NASCAR racing at every level is a team sport, and this is particularly true of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series,? said George Silbermann, managing director of racing operations for NASCAR. ?The 2007 Craftsman Mechanic of the Year program recognizes the significant contributions of the men and women who prepare the racing machines at NASCAR