Justin Alexander, rookie crew chief for Paul Menard and the No. 27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet SS, received his third MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” Award of 2015 after the 27 car improved by nine positions to finish eighth in Sunday’s rain-shortened Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. MOOG is the Official Steering and Suspension of NASCAR.
Alexander received the weekly Problem Solver award based on the MOOG-equipped Chevrolet’s race-best 0.259-second-per-lap improvement over the second half of Sunday’s race while finishing on the lead lap. With his latest MOOG award, Alexander now holds a one-win lead in the battle for $100,000 MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” honors. The weekly and year-end awards are sponsored by MOOG Steering and Suspension manufacturer Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation.
The race, which saw multiple cautions and four red flags due to intermittent storms, featured “perhaps the toughest conditions crew chiefs have faced all year,” said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “Justin’s ability to coax additional speed out of the 27 car’s chassis in spite of all of those stops and starts was impressive to say the least.”
Driving Richard Childress Racing’s MOOG-equipped chassis No. 508, Menard ran much of the race’s 138 laps within the top 10 after starting in 17th position. He was challenging Jamie McMurray and the MOOG-equipped No. 1 Chevrolet for seventh place when the race was stopped for the fourth and final time.
With 15 Sprint Cup races in the books, Alexander sits atop the year-end MOOG standings, followed by Chad Knaus (No. 48 Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson) and Greg Ives (No. 88 Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) with two weekly wins apiece and eight crew chiefs with one.
The MOOG brand, the preferred choice of professional technicians and NASCAR crew chiefs, is in its 50th year of Cup competition. In recognition of the vital importance of steering and suspension components in overall vehicle safety and performance, NASCAR now requires that Cup teams use MOOG Problem Solver parts, specifically balls joints and tie rod ends. Cup Series champions have chosen MOOG parts for 49 consecutive years.