Luke Lambert, Ryan Newman’s crew chief, named ‘Problem Solver of the Year’; earns $100k prize

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Luke Lambert solved all kinds of problems during the 2014 season.

It was his uncanny solutions that helped lead driver Ryan Newman to a runner-up finish in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

That’s why it’s not surprising Lambert has been named Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ “Problem Solver of the Year.”

“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.”

In addition to the winner’s trophy, Lambert, 31, also will receive a check for a cool $100,000 for earning the award. The trophy and check will be presented to Lambert during the Myers Brothers Award ceremony Dec. 4 in Las Vegas.

Lambert is in his second full season as a Sprint Cup crew chief, having led Jeff Burton’s final season with Richard Childress Racing in 2013, and then transitioned to be Newman’s crew chief in the latter’s first season with RCR.

Lambert earned the weekly “Problem Solver of the Race” award four times during this past season, which counted heavily towards earning the year-long title. A total of 18 crew chiefs won the weekly award in 2014.

Four crew chiefs tied for second place in the Problem Solver season standings: Jimmy Fennig (crew chief for Carl Edwards), Chris Heroy (Kyle Larson), Chad Knaus (Jimmie Johnson) and Steve Letarte (Dale Earnhardt Jr.).

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.