Jamie McMurray and the No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet led a race-high 138 laps and crew chief Keith Rodden took home his second MOOG® Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” Award in Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race and $100,000 “Problem Solver of the Year” awards are sponsored by Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation.
The weekly Problem Solver award is presented following each NASCAR® 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. The MOOG-equipped No. 1 Chevrolet SS was the fastest and best-handling car on the track for nearly half the race and delivered an event-high 0.017-second-per-lap improvement over the final 250 laps to finish eighth. Still seeking a position in the season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup, the Chip Ganassi Racing team seemed destined for victory lane until the night’s ninth and final caution reshuffled the field. Joey Logano and the MOOG-equipped No. 22 Ford won the race. Logano’s crew chief, Todd Gordon, also has two weekly MOOG Problem Solver wins.
“It looked like Keith and Jamie had cracked the code here tonight – unlike everybody else, they were able to avoid the high line, which gave them a significant advantage until the track changed over the final 100 laps,” said Tim Nelson, motorsports director for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “I’m sure they’re disappointed with an eighth-place finish, but the 1 car impressed a lot of people tonight.”
With 12 races to go, any of 16 crew chiefs could still take control in the battle for the $100,000 MOOG Problem Solver of the Year Award. Jimmy Fennig (No. 99 Ford, Carl Edwards) and Steve Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) share the lead with three weekly MOOG wins, followed by Rodden, Gordon, Daniel Knost (No. 41 Chevrolet, Kurt Busch) and Richard “Slugger” Labbe (No. 27 Chevrolet, Paul Menard) with two wins apiece. Ten crew chiefs have one Problem Solver win – and plenty of time to challenge for the lead.
“We’ve had guys get hot and string together multiple wins in the final 10 to 12 races, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen again this year,” Nelson said.
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.com website or contact your MOOG supplier. Like MOOG on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moogproblemsolver.