Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and the Moog Steering and Suspension-equipped No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet dominated the final 125 laps to win Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Following the race, Johnson’s longtime crew chief, Chad Knaus, received “Problem Solver of the Race” honors from Moog, the Official Steering and Suspension of NASCAR.
Sponsored by Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, the Moog Problem Solver of the Race and season-ending $100,000 “Problem Solver of the Year” awards honor Sprint Cup crew chiefs whose chassis adjustments and racing strategies have the greatest positive impact on their cars’ performance. The weekly Moog Problem Solver award is presented to the crew chief whose car has delivered the best second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. The 48 Chevrolet was a race-high .340-seconds per lap faster over the closing 163 laps at Atlanta, helping Johnson power to the front of the field after starting in 37th position.
The 48 car didn’t lead until Lap 198, but then held the advantage six times for 92 of the final 127 laps of the 1.5-mile speedway. It was the 71st Cup victory and fourth at Atlanta for Johnson and Knaus, who appeared to be in mid-season form by mid-race. “Jimmie and Chad communicate so well throughout each race that it’s almost like they’re both driving the car,” said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “As a result, Chad and the Hendrick Motorsports crew are often a step ahead when it comes to dialing in their Moog-equipped chassis as track conditions change. It was textbook problem solving by one of the best in the business.”