Crew Chief Paul Wolfe is MOOG ‘Problem Solver of the Race’ at Bristol
Paul Wolfe, crew chief for defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, worked his magic in the pits to help propel the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion to a solid third-place finish and return Keselowski to the top of the championship points standings during Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Following the race, Wolfe received NASCAR’s top weekly honor for pit professionals, Federal-Mogul’s MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” Award.
The MOOG Problem Solver award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest improvement in average lap time during the second half of the race while finishing on the lead lap. The No. 2 Ford started seventh but fell back to 15th position before a series of chassis adjustments improved its time by a race-best 0.139 second per lap over the final 250 trips around the half-mile concrete oval.
“Brad reported that the car was really tight at the start, so Paul slowly started to dial in the chassis with a series of track bar adjustments until they had a car to be reckoned with,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “By the halfway point, it was pretty clear that Brad felt he could challenge the leaders, and he did.”
Keselowski picked up time after each pit stop and the MOOG steering and suspension-equipped Ford eventually claimed the lead on Lap 397. They stayed out front until a caution set up a side-by-side restart with Kasey Kahne and the MOOG-equipped No. 5 Chevrolet SS with 39 laps to go. Kahne got a clean restart while Keselowski was hit from behind, enabling Kahne to pull away for the win. While disappointed, Keselowski and Wolfe can find solace in the fact that they are the only team to post top-five finishes in all four races this year.