Alan Gustafson, crew chief for Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet Impala, received Federal-Mogul’s MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” Award after the No. 24 team posted its second top-five finish of the year in Saturday night’s hot and humid Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. It was the second weekly MOOG honor of 2012 for Gustafson, who was Federal-Mogul’s 2011 MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year.”
The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest improvement in average lap speed over the second half of the race while finishing on the lead lap. In finishing fifth, Gustafson and Gordon were a race-best 0.266-second faster over the final 133 laps of Kentucky Speedway’s 1.5-mile tri-oval.
Gordon and several other drivers battled loose handling in the early-race 120-degrees-plus track temperatures. The field became significantly faster, however, after crew chiefs made adjustments to their MOOG-equipped steering and suspension systems during the first two series of scheduled pit stops. Gustafson continued to fine tune the No. 24’s chassis and, as track temperatures moderated, Gordon began ticking off laps that were as fast or faster than the race leaders. He was in the top 12 most of the night and had moved up to fourth with 100 laps to go.
“That’s three straight top 10s for Jeff and Alan and it looks like they’re ready to get their first win sometime soon,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “As we saw last year, Alan is one of the elite crew chiefs when it comes to reading a track and making his car better. He made all the right calls on pit road tonight.”
With just one race until the season’s halfway point, Gustafson moves into a six-way tie for the lead in the battle to win the $100,000 MOOG Problem Solver of the Year Award. Other crew chiefs with two weekly MOOG wins this year are Jimmy Fennig (No. 17 Ford), Steve Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet), Chad Johnston (No. 56 Toyota), Steve Addington (No. 14 Chevrolet), and Chad Knaus (No. 48 Chevrolet).
According to the company, MOOG Steering and Suspension components are the leading choice of crew chiefs and automotive repair professionals and have helped drive an unprecedented 46 consecutive NASCAR Cup champions to victory.
For additional information regarding MOOG chassis parts, visit the brand’s technician-focused www.moogproblemsolver.com website or contact your MOOG supplier. To identify the right MOOG part for virtually any application, use the convenient, free www.FMe-cat.com electronic catalog.