Chad Johnston the 10th crew chief in 10 Sprint Cup starts to win MOOG Problem Solver award

Jan. 1, 2020
Chad Johnston, crew chief for driver Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, became the 10th crew chief to win the MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award.

Chad Johnston, crew chief for driver Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, became the 10th crew chief to win the MOOG® Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Race” Award in 10 NASCAR® Sprint Cup starts this year following the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnston received his award after the 56 team survived an early accident, a three-and-a-half-hour rain delay and near darkness in the closing laps to finish seventh on Talladega’s 2.66-mile track.

Sponsored by MOOG Steering and Suspension components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation, the MOOG “Problem Solver” award is presented after each Sprint Cup event to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest improvement in average lap time over the second half while finishing on the lead lap. The 56 Toyota was one of the few cars to improve its performance – by 0.010-second per lap – in the rapidly cooling temperatures brought on by a string of thunderstorms moving through the region throughout the day.

“We had everything – rain, hail, lightning and a couple of ‘Big Ones,’ but Chad and Martin just held on and waited for the race to come to them,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “This was the sort of day where you just throw out the playbook, yet Chad somehow kept finding the right setup for his MOOG-equipped steering and suspension following each delay.”

Johnston was challenged early when the 56 Toyota was collected in a multi-car accident on Lap 43, but the car’s MOOG steering and suspension components withstood the punishment and the Michael Waltrip Racing crew quickly addressed other damage to avoid falling a lap down. From there it was up to Truex and Johnston – now in their third season together – to identify necessary adjustments in the highly variable weather conditions.

“A lot of credit goes to Chad for having the car handling so well at the end when the field was running three wide in near darkness. That helped Martin avoid the final pileup and come out of Talladega with a hard-earned top 10,” Nelson said.

With the seventh-place finish, the 56 team moved up two spots, to 13th, in Sprint Cup points.

MOOG, the automotive service industry’s “Problem Solver®,” is the preferred brand of professional technicians and NASCAR crew chiefs. Federal-Mogul’s MOOG steering and suspension product engineers work in partnership with Sprint Cup teams to develop and test innovative designs that help provide race-winning performance and durability. Many of these same technologies are featured in MOOG ball joints, tie rod ends and other components available for today’s passenger vehicles.

For more information regarding MOOG steering and suspension parts, visit the brand’s technician-focused website or contact your MOOG supplier. To identify the right MOOG part for virtually any application, please use the convenient, free electronic catalog.

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