Greg Biffle and the Roush Fenway Racing-owned No. 16 Ford Fusion gave Ford its 1,000th victory in NASCAR national series competition and crew chief Matt Puccia became the year’s 12th recipient of the Moog Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” Award in Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup contest at Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.
Puccia received the Moog Problem Solver award after the No. 16 3M/Give Kids a Smile Ford posted the greatest improvement (0.234 seconds) in average lap time over the second half of the race while finishing on the lead lap. Weekly Moog Problem Solver honors and the year-end $100,000 Moog “Problem Solver of the Year” Award are sponsored by global vehicle components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation.
Biffle was 19th in the starting grid but ran in the top 10 for most of the race. The Moog-equipped 16 car led 48 laps on the day but the final 27 were the most important and nerve wracking, with Biffle withstanding a furious challenge from Sprint Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson, whose Moog-equipped No. 48 Chevrolet was posting the fastest laps of anyone on the track. Johnson had to call off the charge after cutting his right-front tire with two laps to go, and Biffle held on for his second straight victory at MIS. With the win, Biffle and Puccia move up two spots, to eighth, in Sprint Cup points.
“Greg and Matt showed once again why they’re so tough to beat at MIS,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports director Tim Nelson. “Greg was patient at the right times and aggressive at the right times, and Matt made several smart calls on pit road to get their Ford Fusion out front.”
Puccia is one of 10 crew chiefs with one weekly Moog Problem Solver award, while Matt Borland, crew chief for Ryan Newman (No. 39 Chevrolet), leads with three weekly Moog wins and Todd Gordon, crew chief for Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford), is second with two.