Chad Knaus wins MOOG ‘Problem Solver’ Award at MIS
Following the race, Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, received Federal-Mogul’s MOOG Chassis Parts “Problem Solver of the Race” Award for the No. 48 car’s dramatic turnabout.
The MOOG Problem Solver Award honors the Sprint Cup crew chief whose car posts the largest increase in average lap speed over the second half of the race while finishing on the lead lap. The No. 48 Chevrolet led the field with a 0.066-second improvement at MIS.
Johnson, who qualified 19th, complained that his car was extremely loose over the first 30 laps. Knaus and the Hendrick Motorsports crew attacked the problem during two pit stops under the first caution and the car’s MOOG-equipped chassis quickly sprang to life. Johnson advanced from 20th to 8th over the next 30 laps and cracked the top five by Lap 112. Knaus’ call for Johnson to make his final stop on Lap 168 – earlier than the race leaders – proved brilliant, as a caution catapulted the No. 48 car into the front row for the restart. Johnson then pulled away from Kyle Busch and held the lead until he was slowed by debris in the car’s grille 18 laps later.
“Chad’s early chassis adjustments seemed to set theNo. 48 car free, and then he made an unbelievable call late in the race to move Jimmie up to the front,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “He showed today how important chassis setup really is; just a couple of adjustments helped Jimmie drive right through the field.”
The MOOG Problem Solver Award is Knaus’ first of the year. With 13 races remaining, crew chiefs Bob Osborne (No. 99 Ford), Steve Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet), Gil Martin (No. 29 Chevrolet) and Paul Wolfe (No. 2 Dodge) remain deadlocked with three weekly MOOG wins each in the battle for the prestigious MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” Award.