MAN OF MANY RINGS: Mike Trower, 43, is looking to help Jimmie Johnson add another ring to his collection tonight by winning the Coca-Cola 600. Trower, a native of Iowa, who has worked for Duke Energy for 23 years as an engineer for customer relations, knows something about rings, too. Since Trower began working for Dave Marcis in 1984 he has accumulated 17 rings representing four Cup championships (three with Jeff Gordon and one with Johnson); four Daytona 500s; three Brickyard 400s; two Coca-Cola 600s; three pit crew championships; and one for Gordon's Winston Million win.

Trower had one of his Brickyard 400 rings sized for his dad, Dave. Trower left Marcis and started working for Hendrick Motorsports in 1994 with the No. 24 Chevrolet team. He and Chad Knaus were the tire changers for the No. 24. When Knaus left to become crew chief for Johnson and the No. 48 Chevrolet team, Trower followed.

"At first, I wanted to go racing fulltime, but then I went to junior college and got a two-year degree and changed my mind," said Trower. "I've kind of got the best of both worlds now. I can do what I want to when I want to." Trower is strictly a race-day tire changer only for the No. 48 team, but he did work May 26 in the CARQUEST 300 NASCAR Busch race. "That was my own decision to do that," said Trower. "I didn't have to. You know, you like to have your day off during the week."

If Trower gets three more rings, that will cover all his digits. He hasn't thought about retiring soon, just maybe opening up his own ring shop.