Jamie McMurray and the MOOG Steering and Suspension-equipped No. 1 Energizer EcoAdvanced Chevrolet earned their fourth straight top-10 finish and the team’s rookie crew chief, Matt McCall, took home MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” honors following Sunday’s rain-delayed Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. MOOG is the Official Steering and Suspension of NASCAR.
Sponsored by Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, the weekly MOOG Problem Solver award recognizes the crew chief whose in-race problem solving helps result in the greatest second-half improvement in average lap time and a finish on the lead lap. The Chip Ganassi Racing-owned Chevrolet improved by a race-best 0.069 second per lap and was one of few cars to challenge race winner Kurt Busch and the MOOG-equipped No 41 Chevrolet.
In just their first season together, McMurray and McCall have quietly climbed the Sprint Cup points standings, to 9th, with top 10s at Martinsville, Texas Motor Speedway, Bristol and Richmond, as well as a runner-up finish at Phoenix. “They’re getting better every week and you can see the No. 1 team gaining confidence,” said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “Matt has made some gutsy calls that have paid off, and it’s clear that Jamie and the rest of team have a great deal of faith in him.”
After starting ninth, the No. 1 car briefly led the race twice before scheduled stops reshuffled the field. In each case, McMurray and the MOOG-equipped Chevrolet regained most of their lost position to pressure Busch and the 41 Chevrolet, which led 291 of the race’s 400 laps.
McCall is the ninth different crew chief to earn MOOG Problem Solver honors this year. At the end of the season, Federal-Mogul Motorparts will present the $100,000 MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” Award to the crew chief with the best overall performance throughout the 36-race season.
The MOOG brand, the preferred choice of professional technicians and NASCAR crew chiefs, is in its 50th year of Cup competition. MOOG parts have been the choice of every Cup series champion since 1966, an unprecedented 49-year winning streak.