Tony Stewart broke a 30-race winless streak and his crew chief, Steve Addington, capped the post-race celebration by being named Federal-Mogul’s Moog Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” following Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup contest on the “Monster Mile” of Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
Addington’s Moog Problem Solver award came after the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS posted the greatest improvement in average lap time (0.058 seconds) over the second half of the race while finishing on the lead lap. He earned five weekly Moog awards in 2012 to win the prestigious $100,000 Moog “Problem Solver of the Year” Award.
“Tony and Steve have made a lot of progress in the past two weeks, and Steve and the Stewart-Hass crew worked wonders with the 14 car between Friday and Sunday,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports director Tim Nelson. “The Moog Problem Solver awards are all about the fine-tuning that takes place on pit road before and during each race, and Steve and his team just never gave up – they kept improving the car’s handling so Tony could be in a good position during the closing laps.”
In a good position he was, with the Moog-equipped Chevrolet SS running third when NASCAR officials assessed a pass-through penalty to race leader Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet) with just 19 laps remaining. Stewart, who started 22nd, immediately challenged the new leader, Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Chevrolet), and eventually gained the advantage from the outside lane with three laps to go.
“It came down to two great drivers battling head to head for 19 miles, with the win ultimately going to the one with the better-handling car,” Nelson said.