Chad Knaus wins MOOG ‘Problem Solver’ Award at Kansas Speedway

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Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet Mountain Green team made a good car incrementally better throughout Sunday’s STP 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway, and the team’s third-place finish helped crew chief Chad Knaus pick up his first 2012 MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” Award.

Knaus earned Federal-Mogul’s weekly MOOG honors after the No. 48 car posted a race-best 0.117-second improvement in average lap speed during the second half of the event while finishing on the lead lap. That improvement came through plenty of hard work in the pits, where Knaus and team worked tirelessly to enhance the car’s position in the face of changing track conditions.

“Chad and Jimmie threw everything they had at their car today. Every adjustment to their MOOG-equipped steering and suspension system seemed to give them a little more speed and better track position,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “They started with a 15th place car and ended up in third; if they had 20 more laps to work with, they just might have won this thing.”

Johnson advanced from 15th into the top 10 within the first 15 laps and briefly captured the lead on Lap 92. The Hendrick Motorsports-owned Chevrolet, which won last fall’s Chase event at Kansas, ran in the top seven throughout the final 100 laps but ultimately didn’t have enough to challenge the race leader. The No. 48 was the fastest Chevrolet on the track and one of three Hendrick cars to finish in the top 10.

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