SOUTHFIELD, Mich. Jamie McMurray and the MOOG Steering and Suspension-equipped No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet SS earned their first top-five finish of 2014 and the team’s crew chief, Keith Rodden, took home his career-first MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award following Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Rodden is the eighth different crew chief to win MOOG Problem Solver honors in the first 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup events of the year.
Sponsored by Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: FDML) and the manufacturer of MOOG Steering and Suspension parts, the Problem Solver of the Race award is presented following each Sprint Cup event to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. After starting 26th, the Chip Ganassi Racing-owned No. 1 Chevrolet improved by a race-best 0.278 seconds per lap to finish fifth at Charlotte.
Charlotte has been good to McMurray and Rodden, who came to town with just three top 10s and two DNFs in the first 11 points races. But the No. 1 Chevrolet dominated the final 10-lap segment to win last weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race here and McMurray picked up 11 positions in the first 20 laps to run with the leaders throughout Sunday’s event.
“Jamie discovered they had a really fast car as soon as they found clean air, and Keith made a series of chassis adjustments that helped make the No. 1 even more competitive as the race progressed,” said Tim Nelson, motorsports director for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “It’s great to see a rookie crew chief break through for his first MOOG Problem Solver award. With Keith’s background, I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more of him.”
Rodden came to Ganassi Racing at the end of last season from Hendrick Motorsports, where he assisted Kenny Francis, crew chief for Kasey Kahne and the No. 5 Chevrolet. He also has worked for Andy Petree Racing, Gillett Evernham Motorsports, Richard Petty Motorsports and Red Bull Racing in a career spanning 11 years.
In addition to the weekly MOOG Problem Solver award, Federal-Mogul Motorparts sponsors the $100,000 MOOG Problem Solver of the Year Award, which is presented to the crew chief with the best performance throughout the 36-race Sprint Cup season. Four crew chiefs remain tied with two wins each in the year-end MOOG Problem Solver standings: Todd Gordon (No. 22 Ford, Joey Logano); Daniel Knost (No. 41 Chevrolet, Kurt Busch); Jimmy Fennig (No. 99 Ford, Carl Edwards); and Richard “Slugger” Labbe (No. 27 Chevrolet, Paul Menard).
MOOG Steering and Suspension is the preferred brand of professional technicians and NASCAR crew chiefs, and MOOG components are recognized as the automotive service industry’s “Problem Solver,” with innovative parts that improve on original designs by providing increased durability, enhanced performance and easier installation. NASCAR Cup champions have driven to victory with MOOG parts for an unprecedented 48 straight years.
For more information regarding the MOOG Problem Solver awards and MOOG products, visit the brand’s technician-focused www.moogproblemsolver.com website or contact your MOOG supplier. Like MOOG on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moogproblemsolver.