Alan Gustafson, crew chief for Jeff Gordon and the Moog Steering and Suspension-equipped No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS, claimed the season’s first Moog Problem Solver of the Race Award after the 24 car improved by a race-best 0.164-seconds per lap over the second half of Sunday’s rain-delayed Daytona 500.
Sponsored by global vehicle components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation the Moog award is presented following each NASCAR Sprint Cup contest to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest increase in average lap time over the second half of the race. Federal-Mogul also sponsors the prestigious $100,000 Moog Problem Solver of the Year Award, which is presented to the crew chief with the best overall performance throughout the 36-race season. Gustafson won the year-end Moog award in 2011.
The 24 Chevrolet finished fourth after making an impressive charge toward the front over the final 50 laps. While they didn’t make it to Victory Lane, Gordon and the 24 car did help determine the winner, as they pushed Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt and the Moog-equipped No. 88 Chevrolet into the lead on the final restart with two laps to go. Earnhardt went on to win his second Daytona 500 and the eighth overall for the Hendrick organization.
“With a six-and-a-half-hour delay, this race was a huge challenge for crew chiefs because they had no idea how well their cars would handle in a totally different set of track conditions,” said Federal-Mogul motorsports director Tim Nelson. “Alan and the Hendricks Motorsports crew did an outstanding job in adjusting Jeff’s chassis to address the cooler temperatures, and that allowed the 24 to pick up significant track position over the final 50 laps.”