#aftermarket – Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick led a race-high 142 laps in winning his third race in the past six Cup Series starts, and Harvick’s crew chief, Rodney Childers, was selected as the Moog Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor 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 Cup Series crew chief whose car delivers the best second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. Harvick and Childers’ Moog-equipped No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet was fast in virtually all phases of Sunday’s race, but Childers and the Stewart-Haas Racing crew managed to coax a race-best 0.306-second-per-lap improvement over the final 134 laps of the 1.5-mile speedway. In truth, the only serious challenge the team faced was an ominous vibration during the final few laps, but Harvick still managed a 1.640-second margin of victory over the No. 78 Chevrolet SS of Martin Truex Jr.
Harvick’s win extends his streak of top-two Cup Series finishes to six, the 4 car having finished second this year at Daytona and Atlanta and winning two of the final three starts of 2014. He and Childers are in just their second season together at Stewart-Haas.
“Rodney and Kevin put all the pieces together in the second half of last year, and it looks like nothing has changed in 2015. You can see the confidence in their eyes from the moment they arrive at the track, and Rodney and the Stewart-Haas crew have been nearly flawless on pit road,” said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports for Federal-Mogul Motorparts.
In addition to weekly Moog Problem Solver honors, Federal-Mogul Motorparts sponsors the season-ending $100,000 Moog “Problem Solver of the Year” Award, presented to the crew chief with the best overall performance throughout the 36-race season. Defending Problem Solver of the Year is Luke Lambert, crew chief for Ryan Newman and the No. 31 Chevrolet, which finished third in Sunday’s race.