Four crew chiefs now share the lead in the battle for the $100,000 MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Year” Award after Chris Heroy, crew chief for rookie Kyle Larson and the MOOG-equipped No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS, claimed weekly MOOG Problem Solver honors during Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Sponsored by Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, the weekly MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the best second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. Larson and the 42 Chevrolet picked up a race-high 0.093-second per lap to advance 18 positions and finish sixth on Charlotte’s 1.5-mile quad-oval. Heroy now has three weekly MOOG awards, moving him into a tie with crew chiefs Jimmy Fennig (No. 99 Ford, Carl Edwards), Luke Lambert (No. 31 Chevrolet, Ryan Newman) and Steve Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) in the Problem Solver of the Year battle.
“We’ve finished 31 of 36 races and nothing has been decided – any of the 17 crew chiefs who have won a weekly Problem Solver award has a legitimate shot at receiving our $100,000 check in Las Vegas,” said Tim Nelson, motorsports director for Federal-Mogul Motorparts.
The 42 Chevrolet has more top-10 finishes (16) than any Chip Ganassi Racing team since Juan Pablo Montoya finished with 18 in 2009. It appeared Larson was actually destined for the top five until he fell back after brushing the wall in the final laps. Still, Larson and Heroy continue to turn heads in their first year together after barely missing out on the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Saturday’s race was won by Kevin Harvick and the MOOG-equipped No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet. Harvick automatically advances to the Eliminator Round of the 10-event Chase.
Tied for second place in the MOOG Problem Solver of the Year standings with two weekly wins each are crew chiefs Todd Gordon (No. 22 Ford, Joey Logano), Daniel Knost (No. 41 Chevrolet, Kurt Busch), Richard “Slugger” Labbe (No. 27 Chevrolet, Paul Menard), Keith Rodden (No. 1 Chevrolet, Jamie McMurray), and Chad Knaus (No. 48 Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson). Eight crew chiefs have one weekly Problem Solver win.
According to the company, 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.