Jeff Gordon and the Moog Steering and Suspension-equipped No. 24 Axalta Coating Systems Chevrolet SS overcame tight handling to finish fourth in Sunday’s AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup contest at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Following the race, Gordon’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson, was named Federal-Mogul’s Moog “Problem Solver of the Race” based on the 24 car’s race-best 0.025-second-per-lap improvement over the final 200 laps of the “Monster Mile.”
Gustafson’s Moog win gives him two on the season and elevates him into a three-way tie for third place in the battle for the $100,000 Moog “Problem Solver of the Year” Award.
Gordon and Gustafson’s Chevrolet SS was 16th on the starting grid but improved to 11th place within the first 30 laps. Gustafson called for a series of adjustments to the MOOG-equipped chassis in each of the first three pit stops. One final correction during a caution on Lap 164 dramatically improved the car’s handling and Gordon slowly advanced to third place behind Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet). Johnson and Earnhardt Jr. – both also driving Moog-equipped cars – finished one-two for the day. Gordon’s fourth-place finish moved him into fifth position in the Chase for the Sprint Cup with just seven events remaining.
“The 24 was a handful during the first half of the race, but Alan methodically dialed in the chassis until Jeff had a really responsive and competitive racecar,” said Federal-Mogul motorsports director Tim Nelson. “The Hendrick organization had a great day, with three cars in the top four, and we’re proud that Moog Steering and Suspension parts played a prominent role in each of their finishes.”
Gustafson’s latest Problem Solver award further tightens the race for season-ending Moog Problem Solver honors. Ryan Newman (No. 39 Chevrolet) crew chief Matt Borland sits atop the Moog standings with four weekly Problem Solver wins, followed by three crew chiefs – Todd Gordon (Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford), Kevin Manion (Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Chevrolet) and Gil Martin (Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Chevrolet) with three wins each. Gustafson is tied for third place with Steve Letarte (Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Chevrolet) and Paul Wolfe (Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford) with two weekly Problem Solver wins.