Peter Sospenzo, crew chief for David Gilliland and the #34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion, won Federal-Mogul’s MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” Award and Gilliland posted the most impressive finish of his Sprint Cup racing career in Sunday’s Daytona 500 at Daytona (FL) International Speedway.
The prestigious MOOG Problem Solver award is presented to the crew chief whose car delivers the largest increase in average lap speed during the second half of each Sprint Cup event while finishing on the lead lap. Gilliland’s Front Row Motorsports-owned Ford improved by a race-best 0.400-second per lap to finish third on Daytona’s famed 2.5-mile tri-oval.
“The #34 team had a great day both on the track and in the pits. There’s certainly no better way to kick off the season than with a top-five finish,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “We’re very proud that when it came to selecting steering and suspension parts for all of their racecars, they chose the best name and the best technology in the business MOOG.”
Gilliland and Sospenzo were relatively quiet throughout practice and the #34 car encountered mechanical issues in Thursday’s first Duel 125 qualifier. But the driver was able to avoid the wrecks that collected nearly 20 cars throughout the day and had the power and precise steering and handling needed to make a run toward the front in the closing laps. In fact, Gilliland, who started 39th, helped push Carl Edwards (#99 Aflac Ford) into second place on the final trip around Daytona’s newly paved track.
“Peter gave David a very competitive car today,” Nelson said. “Plus the team was very patient in waiting for their opening and then seizing the opportunity in the closing laps.”
MOOG steering and suspension components are the leading choice of crew chiefs and automotive repair professionals and have helped drive an unprecedented 45 consecutive NASCAR Cup champions to victory. The unique benefits of MOOG components and other Federal-Mogul products are highlighted in the company’s innovative "Smart Choice" campaign, which reinforces the message that longer lasting, better performing replacement parts are today’s best option for technicians and consumers.
For additional information regarding MOOG chassis parts, visit the brand’s technician-focused www.moogproblemsolver.com website or contact your MOOG supplier. To identify the right MOOG part for virtually any application, use the convenient, free www.FMe-cat.com electronic catalog.