Steve Addington capped his first year as crew chief for 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart by winning one of the sport’s most prestigious and hotly contested honors – the $100,000 MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Year” Award. Addington clinched the award during Sunday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.
Sponsored by global vehicle components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation, the annual MOOG award is presented to the Sprint Cup crew chief who finishes the year with the most weekly MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” Awards. The weekly MOOG award goes to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest improvement in average lap speed from the first to the second half of the race while finishing on the lead lap. Addington finished with five weekly MOOG wins – at Darlington, Pocono, Daytona, Richmond and Kansas. Steve Letarte, crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet), Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56 Toyota) crew chief Chad Johnston, and Matt Puccia, crew chief for Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford), each had four weekly Problem Solver wins.
“The ability to solve tough problems under pressure is one of the most important skills for a Sprint Cup crew chief,” said Michael Proud, director of marketing, North America, Federal-Mogul. “Races are won and lost not only on the track but also on pit road, where professionals like Steve make split-second decisions and ultra-precise adjustments that have a huge effect on their cars’ performance. We established the MOOG Problem Solver awards to put these highly skilled professionals in the spotlight where they belong.”
Addington, a native of Spartanburg, S.C., has won 19 races since landing his first Sprint Cup assignment in 2005. He was named crew chief of the No. 14 team immediately following the 2011 season. Stewart and Addington finished ninth in points with one pole, three wins and 12 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.
“Steve had an uncanny ability to find the right chassis setup for virtually any track condition this year. He and Tony made a lot of progress together and I’m certain they’ll be back in the hunt for a Sprint Cup title in 2013,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “One thing they have in common with virtually every other team is their reliance on precision-engineered MOOG steering and suspension components.”
Addington will receive the $100,000 MOOG Problem Solver of the Year check and distinctive MOOG ball joint trophy during the annual NMPA Myers Brothers Award Luncheon, November 29 in Las Vegas.
Matt Puccia was the winner of Sunday’s weekly MOOG Problem Solver award after the No. 16 Ford delivered a race-best 0.294-second improvement over the final 134 laps at Homestead. The No. 16 car started 13th and finished fifth.
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 every NASCAR Cup champion to victory since 1966.
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.