Crew Chief Matt Puccia wins first MOOG ‘Problem Solver of the Race’ Award
Matt Puccia, crew chief for Greg Biffle and the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, added another highlight – Federal-Mogul’s MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” Award – to his young career after Biffle scored his 13th top-10 finish of the season in Sunday’s NASCAR Finger Lakes 355 Sprint Cup contest at Watkins Glen International. Puccia, who took over the No. 16 team at mid-season last year, has helped Biffle improve his average finish by seven positions in 2012. The team is just a single point behind series leader Jimmie Johnson.
Sponsored by Federal-Mogul’s MOOG Steering and Suspension brand, the MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award is presented following each Sprint Cup event to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest improvement in average lap time over the second half while finishing on the lead lap. Biffle and Puccia’s MOOG-equipped Ford improved by a race-best 0.519 second in finishing sixth on the 2.45-mile road course.
Biffle, who started 15th, was running fourth with just two laps remaining but lost ground, along with several other drivers, due to a trail of oil on the track. Still, the sixth-place finish helped the team move up one spot in the Cup race, which it had led for 11 straight weeks earlier in the year.
“Matt has done an unbelievable job since taking over the No. 16 car last summer,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “Here’s a guy who worked his way up from parts runner, and now that he’s in the number-one chair he’s consistently giving his driver one of the fastest and best-handling cars on the track.”
Puccia has joined multiple generations of NASCAR crew chiefs and automotive repair professionals who have relied on MOOG steering and suspension components. MOOG parts have helped drive an unprecedented 46 consecutive NASCAR Cup champions to victory.