Crew chief makes most of his chance

Crew chief makes most of his chance

. - DAYTONA BEACH, FL (WMBF) - Michael Wheeler waited a long time for his moment.

"I wasn't too nervous," he said. "I was actually amazed how not nervous I was."

You're not going to see Wheeler in replays of the historically close 2016 Daytona 500, but you need to know he played a crucial role. It won't be him who points it out.

"I'm a small part of this," Wheeler deflected.

A member of the Joe Gibbs racing for 11 years, Wheeler is now Denny Hamlin's crew chief. He can say he's a Daytona 500 winning crew chief.

That's not what he said after the race, though. He was happy to watch the rest of his crew take in the victory.

"It's really satisfying to see everybody so happy," he said. "Seeing Denny say it's his biggest race, biggest thing he's got, makes me happy."

While Wheeler didn't celebrate himself, Hamlin didn't mind doing it for him.

"I love all the crew chiefs I've ever worked with," the winning driver said. "There's something about Wheels that just felt right. This is my guy."

"I wasn't nervous because I knew I had a chance of doing it," Wheeler said. "All I had to do was do the job."

He did his job, so did his driver. Now, they move on to Atlanta at the front of the pack.

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