Chad Johnston, crew chief for the No. 56 NAPA Shocks Toyota driven by Martin Truex Jr., moved into a two-way tie for the lead in the $100,000 MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Year” battle by winning his fourth weekly MOOG Problem Solver award in Sunday’s NASCAR AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The MOOG-equipped No. 56 car finished fourth and clinched its position in the season-ending 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Sponsored by global automotive components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation (NASDAQ: FDML), the MOOG Problem Solver of the Year and Problem Solver of the Race awards recognize the crew chiefs whose decisions on pit road make the greatest difference in their teams’ on-track performance. The weekly MOOG Problem Solver award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the best improvement in average lap time from the first to the second half of the race while finishing on the lead lap. The MOOG Problem Solver of the Year Award goes to the crew chief with the most weekly Problem Solver wins. The No. 56 car, owned by Michael Waltrip Racing, improved by a race-high 0.229 second over the final 164 laps at Atlanta.
Although he started in 28th position, Truex was the fastest driver on the track at the end of the night and seemed to be locked in for his first victory of 2012 when a caution flag reshuffled the field with just four laps remaining. Truex restarted second and fell to fourth before regaining the speed that had helped him hold the lead for 39 laps prior to the yellow.
“No one would have caught Martin without the caution; the 56 car was fast and handling great over the last 100 laps,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “With four MOOG Problem Solver of the Race wins, it’s obvious that Chad has had an outstanding year. I’m happy that he was able to come away from tonight’s race with a MOOG award and the pride that comes with earning a spot in the Chase.”
With four weekly MOOG award wins, Johnston and Dale Earnhardt Jr. crew chief Steve Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet) now lead the field in the battle for the MOOG Problem Solver of the Year Award. Crew chiefs Chad Knaus (No. 48 Chevrolet) and Steve Addington (No. 14 Chevrolet) are tied for second with three weekly MOOG wins each, and three crew chiefs Jimmy Fennig (No. 17 Ford), Alan Gustafson (No. 24 Chevrolet) and Brian Pattie (No. 15 Toyota) are tied for third with two wins apiece.
According to the company, MOOG Steering and Suspension components are the leading choice of automotive repair professionals and top crew chiefs and have helped drive an unprecedented 46 consecutive NASCAR Cup champions to victory.
For additional information regarding MOOG steering and suspension components and the MOOG Problem Solver of the Race and Problem Solver of the Year awards, 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.