David Ragan erased memories of the February miscue that cost him an almost certain Daytona 500 victory and held on through 10 extra laps of racing to win Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Following the checkered flag, Drew Blickensderfer, crew chief for Ragan and the #6 UPS “We Love Logistics” Ford, was named Federal-Mogul’s MOOG Chassis Parts “Problem Solver of the Race.”
One of the most prestigious honors in NASCAR competition, the MOOG Problem Solver Award recognizes the crew chief whose car posts the best second-half improvement in average lap speed while finishing on the lead lap. Ragan’s MOOG-equipped Ford picked up an event-best 0.617 second per lap with the help of Roush Fenway Racing teammate and drafting partner Matt Kenseth (#17 Ford), who finished second.
Ragan’s win his first in 163 Cup starts came just four months after a late-race penalty cost him dearly in the closing laps of the Daytona 500. As in that race, the 25-year-old driver had one of the best cars on the track, made even better through a strategy that paired Ragan and Kenseth in a two-car draft throughout the evening. The chassis setups on both MOOG-equipped cars were nearly perfect all night long.
“Drew had the #6 car in great shape for qualifying and he gave David an even faster car on race day,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “Both David and Matt had plenty of grip in the corners as temperatures cooled, and their drafting strategy kept them toward the front and away from the accidents that collected so many other teams.”
The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award was Blickensderfer’s first of 2011. With 17 races complete, three crew chiefs Bob Osborne (#99 Ford), Steve Letarte (#88 Chevrolet) and Gil Martin (#29 Chevrolet) are tied for first place in the battle for the season-ending MOOG Problem Solver of the Year Award.
MOOG steering and suspension components are the leading choice of NASCAR crew chiefs and automotive repair professionals and have helped drive an unprecedented 45 consecutive NASCAR Cup champions to victory.
For the latest news and statistics regarding the MOOG Problem Solver awards, simply click on the “NASCAR” link on the brand’s popular www.moogproblemsolver.com website. This technician-focused site also includes extensive technical information about MOOG steering and suspension components and a wide range of common chassis repair challenges. To identify the right MOOG part for virtually any application, use the convenient, free www.FMe-cat.com electronic catalog.