It may come as a surprise to many that a major award for a crew chief did not go to the man sitting in the tall chair for the this year’s Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart.
Instead, Federal-Mogul presented the 2011 Moog Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Year” Award to NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chief Alan Gustafson. The Moog Problem Solver of the Year Award is presented to the crew chief who delivers the most consistent problem solving performance throughout the season.
In accepting the award, Gustafson, crew chief for Jeff Gordon and the Hendrick Motorsports-owned No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, received a check for $75,000 and the Moog Problem Solver “ball joint” trophy from Michael Proud, director of marketing, North America, Federal-Mogul.
“In 2011, racing fans were treated to two unbelievably tight championship battles – the race for the Sprint Cup title between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards, and the competition among several very talented crew chiefs to be named the Moog brand’s top problem solver,” Proud said. “Alan ultimately separated himself from the field by making great calls in the pits and tuning the No. 24 car’s Moog-equipped chassis to deliver a significant competitive advantage in several races throughout the year.”
Gustafson led Sprint Cup crew chiefs with four weekly Moog Problem Solver awards, which are presented to the crew chief whose car posts the highest increase in average lap speed over the second half of the race. Seven crew chiefs – Darian Grubb (#14 Chevrolet), Drew Blickensderfer (#6 Ford), Steve Letarte (#88 Chevrolet), Gil Martin (#29 Chevrolet), Bob Osborne (#99 Ford), Shane Wilson (#33 Chevrolet), and Paul Wolfe (#2 Dodge) – finished with three weekly Moog Problem Solver awards each.
Moog steering and suspension components are the leading choice of NASCAR crew chiefs and automotive repair professionals and have helped drive an unprecedented 46 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup champions – including 2011 champion Tony Stewart – to victory.
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