Chad Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson and the MOOG Steering and Suspension-equipped No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, was named MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” after Johnson drove from 37th position at the start to finish second in Saturday’s NASCAR Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol (TN) Motor Speedway. It was the third weekly MOOG Problem Solver award of 2012 for Knaus, moving him into a tie for second place in the battle for MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” honors.
Sponsored by MOOG Steering and Suspension components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation (NASDAQ: FDML), the weekly MOOG Problem Solver award is presented following each Sprint Cup contest to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest improvement in average lap time from the first to the second half of the race while finishing on the lead lap. The 48 car improved by a race-best 0.215 second on Bristol’s 0.533-mile oval.
In a race that at times resembled a demolition derby, Johnson and Knaus picked up ground through patience, a smart pit strategy and a fast, extremely well-handling car. Though the 48 car did sustain minor damage in an early wreck, Johnson came back to claim the lead by mid-race and ran in the top 10 most of the way home. His runner-up finish clinched a position in the season-ending 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup and elevated him two positions to second overall in points.
“Jimmie and Chad looked like they had last week’s race (at Michigan International Speedway) won until their engine failed, and then this week’s qualifying session got rained out, which put them in 37th position for the start. But they showed tonight how focused they are on winning the ultimate prize – a sixth Sprint Cup title,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “Chad had their MOOG-equipped chassis dialed in from the start and Jimmie did a great job of avoiding the contact that put several other drivers out of contention. It was a really smart race for the Hendrick Motorsports team – both in the pits and behind the wheel.”
With three weekly MOOG Problem Solver awards, Knaus moves into a three-way tie for second place – with crew chiefs Steve Addington (#14 Chevrolet) and Chad Johnston (#56 Toyota) – in the battle for the $100,000 MOOG Problem Solver of the Year Award. Steve Letarte, crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Chevrolet, leads with four weekly MOOG awards.
According to the company, MOOG Steering and Suspension components are the leading choice of automotive repair professionals and top crew chiefs and have helped drive an unprecedented 46 consecutive NASCAR Cup champions to victory.
For additional information regarding MOOG steering and suspension components and the MOOG Problem Solver of the Race and Problem Solver of the Year awards, 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.