Brad Keselowski clinched a spot in the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup with his third victory of the year and second in three weeks, and crew chief Paul Wolfe capped off a perfect weekend for the Penske Racing team by earning MOOG® Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” honors following Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Keselowski and Wolfe swept the action at New Hampshire, winning Saturday’s Nationwide Series contest before leading a race-high 136 laps in Sunday’s Cup event.
Sponsored by MOOG Steering and Suspension manufacturer Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, the MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award is presented following each Sprint Cup event to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. After starting seventh, Keselowski and Wolfe’s MOOG-equipped No. 2 Redd’s Apple Ale Ford Fusion grabbed the lead within the first 75 miles yet still improved by a race-best 0.069 seconds per lap over the final 150 laps.
“This Ford was hauling today,” Keselowski said. “It’s a privilege to have a car like this and a team that is just clicking.”
The No. 2 was so fast, in fact, that Wolfe was able to call for four tires when most competitors replaced only two during several pit stops. After another four-tire stop on Lap 254, the 2 car restarted ninth but had overtaken the leader within just 17 laps. Kyle Busch and the No. 18 Toyota tried to make a race of it during a green-white-checkered finish, but Keselowski closed the race as strong as he had started it.
“Brad and Paul mastered this racetrack all weekend – everything they did seemed to work, and Paul had the 2 car’s MOOG-equipped chassis running at its very best,” said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “The only real problem Paul and the Penske team faced was figuring out how to make a dominant car even faster over the second half, and somehow they did that.”
Wolfe became the 13th crew chief in the first 19 races to win MOOG Problem Solver honors. At the end of the season, Federal-Mogul Motorparts will present the prestigious $100,000 MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” Award to the crew chief with the most weekly wins. Steve Letarte, crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet), currently leads with three weekly MOOG wins, followed four crew chiefs – Todd Gordon (Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford), Daniel Knost (Kurt Busch, No. 41 Chevrolet), Jimmy Fennig (Carl Edwards, No. 99 Ford), and Richard Labbe (Paul Menard, No. 27 Chevrolet) – with two wins each.
MOOG Steering and Suspension is the preferred brand of professional technicians and NASCAR crew chiefs, and MOOG components are recognized as the automotive service industry’s “Problem Solver,” with innovative parts that improve on original designs by providing increased durability, enhanced performance and easier installation. NASCAR Cup champions have driven to victory with MOOG parts for an unprecedented 48 straight years.
For more information regarding the MOOG Problem Solver awards and MOOG products, visit the brand’s technician-focused www.moogproblemsolver.comwebsite or contact your MOOG supplier. Like MOOG on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moogproblemsolver.