Driver Joey Logano and crew chief Todd Gordon of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion overcame two early setbacks to finish fourth in Sunday’s Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa. Following the event, Gordon became the 11th different crew chief in 14 starts to receive MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” honors. MOOG is the Official Steering and Suspension of NASCAR.
The No. 22 Team Penske Ford improved by a race-best 0.412-seconds per lap over the final 80 laps at Pocono. Although he qualified 11th, Logano was forced to start in the last row after the team made a pre-race gear change. The 22 made up almost half of its early deficit during the first green-flag run but was assessed a pass-through penalty on Lap 22 for speeding on pit road. Logano got back onto the lead lap with the help of a caution on Lap 70, and then, with Gordon and crew gradually dialing in the Fusion’s MOOG-equipped chassis, began advancing through the field. Logano was just outside the top 10 by Lap 100 and was running second to eventual race winner Martin Truex Jr. and the MOOG-equipped No. 78 Chevrolet with just under 50 miles remaining.
“Joey called it a ‘blue collar’ day, and that’s exactly what it was for the 22 team,” said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports for Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “They made things a little tough for themselves in the early going but Todd and Joey kept working at improving their car all afternoon. That dedication to problem solving excellence – no matter what the challenge might be – plays a huge role in winning a Sprint Cup title.”
Following the season, Federal-Mogul Motorparts will present the $100,000 MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” Award to the crew chief with the most weekly Problem Solver wins. After 14 races, three crew chiefs – Chad Knaus (No. 48 Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson), Greg Ives (No. 88 Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and Justin Alexander (No. 27 Chevrolet, Paul Menard) – lead the year-end MOOG standings with two weekly Problem Solver wins each, followed by eight crew chiefs with one.
For more information: www.moogproblemsolver.com.