McGrew claims season's first MOOG award
Just when it looked like Dale Earnhardt Jr. was destined for a finish outside the top 10, the No. 88 Amp Energy/National Guard Chevrolet picked up 14 positions – and nearly caught race leader Jamie McMurray – in the closing minutes to finish second in Sunday’s Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Following the race, Earnhardt’s crew chief, Lance McGrew, received the NASCAR MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” Award for his role in the thrilling finish.
The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award is presented by Federal-Mogul Corporation, manufacturer of premium MOOG chassis parts. The MOOG award is presented following each NASCAR Sprint Cup event to the crew chief whose car posts the largest increase in average lap speed from the first half to the second half of the race while finishing on the lead lap. Federal-Mogul also sponsors the season-ending MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” Award, presented to the crew chief with the best overall performance throughout the 36-race season.
McGrew’s award came after the MOOG chassis parts-equipped No. 88 Chevrolet, seemingly mired in 16th position with just a handful of laps remaining, picked up several spots through a brilliant late pit stop and then roared past several more cars over eight laps of “overtime” necessitated by NASCAR’s newly revised green-white-checkered rule. The highlight of Earnhardt’s final charge was a precisely executed three-wide pass of Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer that left only race winner McMurray in the No. 88 car’s cross-hairs.
“We’re thrilled that Dale Junior’s MOOG-equipped chassis played a role in what was an absolutely thrilling finish,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “The adjustments made in the No. 88 car’s final pit stop seemed to unlock an entirely new level of handling precision. Lance McGrew and the Hendrick Motorsports crew kept the #88 car within range all day and then clearly made the right call with the pit stop at the end.”