Crew Chief Kevin Manion Earns MOOG ‘Problem Solver’ Honors at Las Vegas
Early mechanical issues and a sick driver weren’t enough to keep the No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet team from delivering its first top-10 finish of the year in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Following the race, crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion’s stellar efforts in the pits were rewarded with Federal-Mogul’s MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Year” Award.
The MOOG Problem Solver award is presented following each Sprint Cup contest to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest improvement in average lap time over the second half of the race. Jamie McMurray, driver of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing-owned Chevrolet, posted a race-high .302-second improvement in finishing eighth on the 1.5-mile track after starting 19th and losing significant position during an extended early pit stop.
“Whatever they needed to fix got fixed because the number one car was very fast the rest of the way,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “Kevin made sure they had their MOOG-equipped steering and suspension dialed in throughout the race, and it sure looked like Jamie was going to finish in the top three until they encountered a series of late cautions.”
Manion faced another unforeseen challenge at the start – McMurray reported to the track Sunday morning with flu-like symptoms. It could have led to a disappointing day for the No. 1 team, but Manion gave his driver an excellent car and McMurray toughed out his third top-10 finish in nine starts at Las Vegas.
MOOG steering and suspension components are the leading choice of crew chiefs and automotive repair professionals and have helped drive an unprecedented 46 consecutive NASCAR Cup champions to victory.