#aftermarket – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the Moog Steering and Suspension-equipped No. 17 Zest Ford earned their first top-five finish of the season and crew chief Nick Sandler won his career-first Moog “Problem Solver of the Race” Award in Sunday’s rain-prolonged Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Bristol (Tenn.) 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 crew chief whose car delivers the greatest second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. The Roush Fenway Racing-owned 17 car improved by 0.238-second per lap over the final 256 laps to finish fourth on the half-mile concrete track. Sandler is the eighth different crew chief to earn Problem Solver honors in the first eight races.
After starting 25th, Stenhouse and Sandler quickly picked up eight positions through smart pit strategy. Sandler and the Roush Fenway crew continually enhanced the Ford’s chassis setup to address dramatic changes in weather and track conditions. Stenhouse ran in the top 15 over much of the second half before advancing into the top 10 in the closing segment. The 17 car was running in sixth place on worn tires for the race’s final restart but had both the power and grip to advance two positions over the closing laps.
“We’re thrilled to add Nick Sandler to the list of elite Sprint Cup crew chiefs who have earned Moog Problem Solver honors,” said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “The rain delays made it a long and grueling day for everybody, but Nick kept his team focused on improving their car during every pit stop. They had their chassis dialed in perfectly at the end, which enabled them to go head to head against cars that were running on fresh tires.”