Tony Stewart and the MOOG chassis parts-equipped #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet took the lead with 12 laps remaining and held on to beat Clint Bowyer by less than half a second in Sunday’s Pepsi Max 400 at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA. Following the race, Stewart’s crew chief, Darian Grubb, received Federal-Mogul Corporation’s MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race Award.”
With Stewart’s victory, the MOOG brand remains unbeaten through the first four races of NASCAR’s season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup. Current Chase points leader and four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished third Sunday in the MOOG-equipped #48 Lowe’s/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet.
The MOOG Problem Solver award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the largest increase in average lap speed during the second half of each Sprint Cup event while finishing on the lead lap. Stewart’s #14 Chevrolet improved by a race-best .337-second after starting the day in 22nd position.
Grubb and the Stewart-Haas Racing team made dramatic adjustments throughout the race to keep the #14 car’s MOOG-equipped chassis ahead of rapidly changing track conditions. “Tony told us we were just kind of keeping up with the changing racetrack, we weren’t really getting ahead of it, so we started swinging a little bit bigger,” Grubb said. Those “swings” worked their magic as Stewart advanced into the top 10 by lap 63 and the top 5 less than 30 laps later.
“Communication between the driver and crew chief is a huge part of the problem solving process,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “Tony and Darian were on the same page all day; anytime Tony faced an issue, Darian had the answer ready during the next stop. They just willed that car into the winner’s circle.”
That will was just barely enough, as Clint Bowyer and the MOOG-equipped #33 Chevrolet held a sizeable lead until the yellow flag came out with fewer than 20 laps remaining, opening the door for Stewart’s late-race heroics.
MOOG steering and suspension components are the leading choice of crew chiefs and automotive repair professionals. The unique benefits of MOOG components and other Federal-Mogul products are highlighted in the company’s innovative "Smart Choice" campaign, which reinforces the message that longer lasting, better performing replacement parts are today’s best option for technicians and consumers.
For additional information regarding MOOG chassis parts, visit the brand’s technician-focused www.moogproblemsolver.com website or contact your MOOG supplier. To learn more about the Federal-Mogul “Smart Choice” campaign, simply visit www.FMSmartChoice.com.