Crew Chief Brian Pattie named MOOG ‘Problem Solver’
Clint Bowyer and the 5-hour Energy Toyota got the top-five finish they needed and the Michael Waltrip Racing team’s crew chief, Brian Pattie, earned his second MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” Award in Sunday’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Sponsored by global vehicle components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation, the weekly MOOG Problem Solver Award is presented to the crew chief
whose car posts the greatest improvement in average lap speed during the second half of
the race while finishing on the lead lap. Bowyer, who started fifth, improved by a race-high
0.129-second per lap over the final 150 laps to finish third overall and move up one position
in driver points, to ninth, with just seven races remaining before the 12-driver Chase for the
Bowyer and Pattie battled tight handling during the early portion of the race, but a series of
adjustments to the Toyota’s MOOG-equipped steering and suspension – coupled with smart
pit strategy – helped advance the No. 15 team from 13th to 6th place over a 40-lap span.
Bowyer ran in the top five over the final 20 laps.
The team’s fourth top-five of 2012 couldn’t have come at a better time. Bowyer won at
Sonoma on June 24 but finished 16th at Kentucky and was collected in a late-race crash
that gave him a DNF last week at Daytona. Sunday’s recovery puts the team back on an
upward trajectory in points position, especially critical given last year’s change in Chase
format that reserves the final two slots as wildcards.