Sprint Cup racing’s youngest crew chief is now also one if its most celebrated, as Luke Lambert of the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team clinched Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ $100,000 MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Year” Award during Sunday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The 31-year-old Lambert, in just his second full year as a Cup Series crew chief and first with driver Ryan Newman, finished 2014 with a series-leading four weekly MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” Awards. He will receive his $100,000 Problem Solver of the Year check and a handcrafted MOOG ball joint trophy during the NASCAR Myers Brothers Award Ceremony December 4 in Las Vegas.
The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race and Problem Solver of the Year awards recognize the vital in-race contributions of Sprint Cup crew chiefs. The weekly Problem Solver of the Race award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. The prestigious year-end Problem Solver award is presented to the crew chief with the best overall performance throughout the season. Four crew chiefs – Jimmy Fennig (No. 99 Ford, Carl Edwards), Chris Heroy (No. 42 Chevrolet, Kyle Larson), Chad Knaus (No. 48 Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson) and Steve Letarte (No. 88 Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) – tied for second in the final Problem Solver standings with three wins each. Eighteen different crew chiefs won a weekly MOOG award in 2014.
“Luke and Ryan turned a lot of heads as they started to climb the Chase standings with a string of outstanding performances at Pocono, Dover, Kansas and Talladega,” said Michael Proud, director of marketing, North America, Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “In each of those races, Luke and the RCR crew made critical adjustments that helped maximize the performance of their MOOG-equipped steering and suspension. That level of problem solving excellence is what our customers expect from MOOG parts, and it’s a skill we celebrate each week through this innovative awards platform.”
Winner of weekly MOOG Problem Solver honors in Sunday’s race was Paul Wolfe, crew chief for Brad Keselowski and the MOOG-equipped No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion. The 2 car delivered a race-best 0.469-second improvement in finishing third at Homestead. Wolfe finished the year with two weekly MOOG awards.
For more information: www.moogproblemsolver.com