Tony Stewart crew chief Darian Grubb overcomes challenges to win the MOOG

Jan. 1, 2020
Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet survived contact with a wall, a collision in the pits and a pass-through penalty that cost them 15 positions to post a remarkable sixth-place finish in Sunday's Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup race
Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet survived contact with a wall, a collision in the pits and a pass-through penalty that cost them 15 positions to post a remarkable sixth-place finish in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After the finish, the man who helped Stewart fight through countless challenges all day long – crew chief Darian Grubb – was named MOOG® Chassis Parts “Problem Solver of the Race.”

Sponsored by global vehicle parts manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation, the MOOG Problem Solver Award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the best second-half improvement in average lap speed whilefinishing on the lead lap. The Stewart-Haas Racing-owned No. 14 Chevrolet Impala delivered a race-best 0.449-second improvement at Indy.

“We just fought all day and I’m really proud of Darian Grubb and the guys on this Mobil 1/ Office Depot Chevy,” Stewart said. “They kept fighting and I fought for everything I could get all day.”

It was a hard fight. Stewart, who started 24th, had climbed to 16th in the early going before being assessed a pass-through penalty when he hit the pit road commitment cone while swerving around Kevin Harvick on Lap 25. The penalty pushed the No. 14 car back to 31st position, where it would again pick up real estate before slapping the Turn 4 wall. That mishap forced Stewart back into the pits so Grubb and his crew could perform a quick inspection of the car’s robust MOOG-equipped steering and suspension system.

Another challenge arose on Lap 95, when Stewart and another car made contact in the pits, causing fender damage and costing the No. 14 Chevrolet more than a dozen positions.

Then their luck turned. Stewart picked up several positions over the next two green-flag runs and Grubb’s decision to call for a fuel- only stop under caution on Lap 122 catapulted the No. 14 car into the top 15. Stewart cracked the top five by Lap 132 and was the leader just three laps later. He was forced back into the pits for fuel on Lap 145, then regained 10 positions for his eighth top-10 finish of the year.

 

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“Darian had his hands full today, but he and Tony battled through every challenge and the No. 14 car’s MOOG-equipped chassis was in great form over the second half of the race,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “Problem solving is a huge part of Sprint Cup racing, and Darian really earned this award today.”

The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award is Grubb’s first of 2011. With 16 races remaining, three crew chiefs – Bob Osborne (No. 99 Ford), Steve Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet) and Gil Martin (No. 29 Chevrolet) – are tied for first place with three wins each in the battle for the season-ending MOOG ProblemSolver of the Year Award.

MOOG steering and suspension components are the leading choice of NASCAR crew chiefs and automotive repair professionals and have helped drive an unprecedented 45 consecutive NASCAR Cup champions to victory.

For the latest news and statistics regarding the MOOG Problem Solver awards, simply click on the “NASCAR” link on the brand’s popular moog problem solver website. This technician-focused site also includes extensive technical information about MOOG steering and suspension components and a wide range of common chassis repair challenges. To identify the right MOOG part for virtually any application, please use the convenient, free electronic catalog.

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