Jimmy Fennig, crew chief for Carl Edwards and the MOOG Steering and Suspension-equipped No. 99 Ford Fusion, moved into a two-way tie for the lead for the $100,000 MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” Award after winning weekly Problem Solver honors in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y. With three weekly MOOG wins, Fennig is now tied with Steve Letarte, crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the MOOG-equipped No. 88 Chevrolet.
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 delivers the best second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. The year-end MOOG award is presented to the crew chief with the best overall performance throughout the 36-race Sprint Cup season.
Fennig received his third weekly MOOG award after the Roush Fenway Racing-owned Cheez-It Ford improved by an event-best 0.197-second per lap over the final 45 laps to finish fifth on the 2.45-mile road course. The MOOG-equipped car, which started 16th, showed the same speed and precise handling as it had in winning at NASCAR’s other road course, Sonoma, in June. Edwards, who has two victories on the season and has secured a position in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, was leading with 30 laps remaining but ultimately gave up the point to the MOOG-equipped No. 47 Chevrolet driven by race winner A.J. Allmendinger.
“Jimmy and Carl have been outstanding on road courses over the past two years, and Jimmy once again found a way to find additional speed in the second half,” said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “A.J. had just a little too much car for everyone else out there, especially on those late restarts. I’m sure the 99 team is happy with another top five on a very tough course.”
With 22 races in the books, 15 different crew chiefs have won weekly MOOG Problem Solver honors. Just one win behind Fennig and Letarte in the Problem Solver of the Year standings are crew chiefs Todd Gordon (Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford), Daniel Knost (Kurt Busch, No. 41 Chevrolet) and Richard “Slugger” Labbe (Paul Menard, No. 27 Chevrolet).
“This is one of the tightest battles in Sprint Cup racing every year, and you can bet that each of the 15 weekly winners believes he can take home our year-end $100,000 check,” Nelson said. “Chances are it’ll come down to the final week of the season, which shows how hard these guys are working on pit road week after week.”
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.
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.