Matt Borland, crew chief for Ryan Newman and the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, became the season’s first multi-race winner of the Moog Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” Award following Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup contest at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Newman and Borland twice came back from a lap down and overcame loose handling to post their fifth top-10 finish in 11 starts.
Sponsored by global vehicle components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation the Moog Problem Solver of the Race Award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest improvement in average lap time over the second half of each Sprint Cup event while finishing on the lead lap. The Moog-equipped 39 car, which started 21st, was 0.124-second faster over the final 183 laps of Darlington’s 1.37-mile oval.
Responding to Newman’s concerns about loose handling, Borland made a series of track bar, wedge and other chassis adjustments to help improve the Stewart-Haas team’s position over the second half of the 367-lap race. A caution on Lap 301 gave Borland another chance to dial in the car’s steering and suspension system for the final sprint to the finish. With the help of a caution on Lap 328, Newman advanced to 13th and then picked up three more spots in the final green-flag run to finish 10th.
“There are times, especially when you don’t have the fastest car on the track, that your crew chief’s ability to sense changing track conditions can make a huge difference in your finish. Matt made every conceivable adjustment to help Ryan capture another top 10,” said Federal-Mogul motorsports director Tim Nelson. “He was solving problems all night long and that’s why he has added another Moog award to his resume.”
In addition to weekly MOoog Problem Solver honors, Federal-Mogul sponsors the $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. Borland now holds a one-win advantage over 9 other crew chiefs in the standings for the year-end award. For more information regarding MOOG steering and suspension parts, visit the brand’s technician-focused www.moogproblemsolver.com website or contact your Moog supplier.