#aftermarket – David Ragan and the No. 18 Crispy M&Ms Toyota Camry earned their first top-five finish of the season and crew chief Adam Stevens won his first-ever Moog Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” Award in Sunday’s STP 500 NASCAR® Sprint Cup event at historic Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Moog is the Official Steering and Suspension of NASCAR.
Sponsored by Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, the weekly Moog Problem Solver 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. Stevens and the Joe Gibbs Racing team helped Ragan deliver a race-best 0.129-second-per-lap boost in finishing fifth on the 0.526-mile, paperclip-shaped track.
Ragan and Stevens are in their first season together after Ragan stepped in as a substitute for the injured Kyle Busch. The team posted finishes of 18th, 22nd, 21st and 18th, respectively, heading into Martinsville, where Ragan’s short-track experience paid huge dividends. The race was won by Ragan’s JGR teammate Denny Hamlin in the Moog-equipped No. 11 Toyota.
“Bringing in a new driver after the start of a season is never easy, but David and Adam have shown since their first race together at Atlanta that they’ve got the goods to be competitive,” said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “It was obvious today that they’re becoming much more comfortable together, and the 18 car was handling beautifully over the final 200 laps.”
The 18’s handling performance was all the more notable in light of the fact that Ragan was involved in a multi-car incident at mid-race. Although the car sustained front-end damage, Stevens and crew were able to continue to enhance its chassis setup over the balance of the afternoon.
Stevens is the sixth different crew chief in six races to win weekly Moog honors. At the end of the season, Federal-Mogul Motorparts will present the $100,000 Moog “Problem Solver of the Year” Award to the crew chief with the most weekly Problem Solver wins.