Steve Addington, crew chief for Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, earned MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” honors in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Kansas Speedway, and in doing so broke a three-way tie in the battle for the $100,000 MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” Award. Addington’s five weekly MOOG Problem Solver awards give him a one-win advantage with just four races remaining in the Sprint Cup season.
Federal-Mogul’s MOOG Problem Solver awards recognize the pit road professionals who best improve their cars’ on-track performance during each Sprint Cup race and throughout the year. The 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. Federal-Mogul presents the Problem Solver of the Year Award – which includes a $100,000 check and custom-crafted MOOG ball joint trophy – to the crew chief with the most weekly MOOG award wins.
Addington and crew chiefs Chad Johnston (No. 56 Toyota/Martin Truex Jr.) and Steve Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet/Dale Earnhardt Jr.) had been locked in a three-way tie since Addington won his fourth weekly MOOG award at Richmond six weeks ago. Chad Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Chevrolet, has three weekly MOOG wins. A total of 14 crew chiefs have won MOOG awards in 2012.
Addington’s latest award came after the MOOG-equipped No. 14 car posted an improbable fifth-place finish – and improved by a race-best .372-second over the final 134 laps – on Kansas Speedway’s newly paved track. Stewart, the defending Sprint Cup Champion, started 33rd and made an aggressive run toward the front before an unscheduled pit stop erased his early progress. The 14 car again charged forward but was involved in a crash with Jeff Burton on Lap 84. Starting from behind for the third time, Stewart had threaded his way into the top 10 by Lap 166 when – like many top drivers in the race – he spun on the very fast yet slick track. Thanks in part to the car’s great-handling MOOG steering and suspension coupled with smart pit strategy, Stewart and Addington climbed through the field a fourth time, advancing from 28th to second over the final 100 laps before dropping three positions on two worn tires to record their 11th top-five finish of the season.
“Tony passed 74 cars out there today, so Steve really earned this week’s MOOG Problem Solver award,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “Every time the team had a setback they simply made a few adjustments and went right back to work. That’s the beauty of these awards – they recognize professionals who never stop trying to make their cars better.”
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.