Luke Lambert, crew chief for Ryan Newman and the MOOG Steering and Suspension-equipped No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet, continued his late-season climb up the MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” standings with his second straight weekly MOOG Problem Solver win in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. Lambert moved into a three-way tie for the lead in the $100,000 year-end MOOG award battle with six races remaining in the Sprint Cup season.
Sponsored by Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, the MOOG Problem Solver of the Year Award is presented to the crew chief with the most weekly MOOG Problem Solver wins throughout the 36-race season. Weekly MOOG Problem Solver honors are awarded following each race to the crew chief whose car delivers the greatest second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. The Richard Childress Racing-owned 31 Chevrolet posted an event-best 0.307-second-per-lap improvement over the closing 103 laps at Kansas to finish sixth.
Newman and Lambert had the fourth-fastest car in Friday’s Happy Hour session but started at mid-pack (17th) for Sunday’s race, the first of three events in the Contender Round of the season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup. The 31 car ran in the top 10 for most of the afternoon, with Lambert making precise adjustments to the car’s MOOG-equipped chassis to address cooling temperatures and changing track conditions. Newman, who is now tied with Carl Edwards and the MOOG-equipped No. 99 Ford for third place in the Chase standings, led briefly with fewer than 40 laps to go before a caution reshuffled the field. The race was won by Chase leader Joey Logano and the MOOG-equipped No. 22 Ford.
“Ryan and Luke were both long shots coming into the Chase and MOOG Problem Solver of the Year battle, but they’re making great runs when it matters most,” said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “Luke faced two very different tracks and sets of challenges over the past two weeks and was able to find the right combination each time to help Ryan join the leaders and strengthen his bid for a position in the Eliminator Round.”
Lambert’s third weekly MOOG award – all won within the past 10 races – moves him into a tie with crew chiefs Jimmy Fennig (No. 99 Ford, Carl Edwards) and Steve Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) for the lead in the MOOG Problem Solver of the Year standings. Six crew chiefs have two weekly Problem Solver wins and eight have one. In the case of a tie, the $100,000 MOOG Problem Solver prize goes to the crew chief whose driver finishes highest in the Chase standings.
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.