Jimmy Fennig, crew chief for Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Ford EcoBoost Fusion, won his third MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” Award after the No. 17 team overcame early handling issues to finish fourth in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. With just two races remaining, Steve Addington, crew chief for Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet, still holds a one-win lead in the battle for the $100,000 season-ending MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” Award.
Sponsored by global vehicle components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation, the MOOG Problem Solver awards recognize the pit professionals who best improve their cars’ on-track performance during each Sprint Cup race and throughout the year. The MOOG Problem Solver of the Week Award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. The Problem Solver of the Year award goes to the crew chief with the most weekly MOOG award wins.
“We have five crew chiefs who could win the $100,000 check and MOOG trophy after (the season-ending race at) Homestead,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “Every adjustment they make to their cars over the next two weeks will have an effect not only on where they finish in the Chase standings, but also on whether they can earn the distinction of being the best of the best on pit road.”
Fennig’s MOOG Problem Solver of the Week Award came on one of his driver’s favorite tracks. Kenseth, who jumped three positions, to fifth, in Chase points, is by far the most successful current driver at Texas, with 12 top-five finishes. But this one wasn’t easy, as the No. 17 car fell back early due to tight handling heading into corners. Fennig and the Roush Fenway Racing crew were able to correct the problem by mid-race and the 17 car quickly fought back into the top 10 and then pushed into the top five over the final stretch. The 17 team’s nearly half-second improvement over the final 168 laps made Fennig the clear choice for weekly MOOG Problem Solver honors.
Fennig’s third weekly MOOG win moves him into a tie for third place in the Problem Solver of the Year standings with Chad Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet). At the top of the standings, Steve Addington still holds a one-win advantage over Chad Johnston (No. 56 Toyota/Martin Truex Jr.) and Steve Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet/Dale Earnhardt Jr.), each with four MOOG wins.
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 more 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.