NASCAR® Sprint Cup crew chiefs Steve Addington, Chad Johnston and Steve Letarte are deadlocked at the top of the standings for the $100,000 MOOG® Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Year” Award as NASCAR heads into its season-ending 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. Addington, crew chief for defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, captured his share of the lead by winning his fourth MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” Award in Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
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The MOOG Problem Solver awards, sponsored by global vehicle components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation, recognize the crew chiefs whose in-race decisions have the most positive impact on their teams’ performance. The weekly MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award is presented to the crew chief whose car delivers the greatest improvement in average lap time over the second half of the event while finishing on the lead lap. The No. 14 Chevrolet, which started in the 14th row, improved by a race-best 0.059 second per lap to finish fourth at Richmond and lock up the third position in the 12-car Chase field.
Both Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet/Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and Johnston (No. 56 Toyota/Martin Truex Jr.) also have guided their teams into the season-ending Chase, as have Chad Knaus (No. 48 Chevrolet/Jimmie Johnson) – who is in second place in the MOOG standings with three weekly Problem Solver wins – and Alan Gustafson (No. 24 Chevrolet/Jeff Gordon) and Brian Pattie (No. 15 Toyota/Clint Bowyer), who are tied for third with two MOOG wins each. If there is a tie at the end of the season, the MOOG Problem Solver of the Year Award is presented to the crew chief whose driver finishes highest in the final Sprint Cup standings.
“Eight of the 12 crew chiefs in the Chase have won at least one MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award this year. That shows that problem solving excellence on pit road is one of the most important factors in a team’s competitiveness over the course of the season,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson.
Federal-Mogul will present the MOOG Problem Solver of the Year trophy – a large, beautifully crafted replica of a MOOG ball joint – along with a check for $100,000 to the winner during NASCAR Champion’s Week ceremonies in Las Vegas in late November.
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