Joey Logano and Team Penske’s No. 22 Shell Pennzoil/Hertz Ford Fusion won Monday’s rain-delayed Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in the final lap. Following the race, Logano’s crew chief, Todd Gordon, was named Federal-Mogul’s MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” for a number of second-half calls that helped propel Logano to his fourth career victory and first of the 2014 season.
The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award is presented following each Sprint Cup contest to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. The MOOG-equipped No. 22 Ford improved by a razor-thin 0.011 seconds over the final 170 laps, but a series of key chassis adjustments enabled Logano to work his way to the front by Lap 226 and lead a race-high 108 laps on the day.
In the end, however, it was Todd Gordon’s call for four tires and a splash of fuel during a late caution that ultimately set up Logano’s slick crossover move on Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 Chevrolet on Lap 340. It was the season’s third last-lap pass by a race winner.
“Today was proof that even when you think you’ve got it clinched, victory can slip away in a heartbeat. The difference here is that Todd and Joey didn’t lose their cool during that late caution and the Team Penske crew gave Joey the car he needed to close the deal,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson.
In addition to the weekly MOOG Problem Solver competition, Federal-Mogul sponsors the $100,000 MOOG “Problem Solver of the Year” Award, which is presented to the crew chief with the best overall performance throughout the 36-race season. Gordon is the fifth crew chief in seven races to win weekly MOOG honors, with Kurt Busch crew chief Daniel Knost (No. 41 Chevrolet) and Carl Edwards crew chief Jimmy Fennig (No. 99 Ford) being the only repeat winners to date.