Moffitt cruises to 1st Truck Series title at Homestead
Send a link to a friend
[November 17, 2018]
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Brett
Moffitt, a kid with a moustache reminiscent of Leo DiCaprio -- yet
already a journeyman driver at age 26 -- is the NASCAR Camping World
Truck Series champion after a decisive victory in Friday night's
Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In a race that featured a minimum two cautions, both for planned
stage breaks, Moffitt drove away from the rest of the field after
taking the lead from fellow Championship 4 contender Noah Gragson on
Lap 99 of 134.
Moffitt finished 2.000 seconds ahead of pole winner Grant Enfinger,
who passed Gragson for the runner-up spot during a cycle of
green-flag pit stops at the 103-lap mark. Gragson ran third, 5.006
GMS Racing teammates Justin Haley and Johnny Sauter did not factor
into the title battle. Haley ran eighth, and Sauter, trying for a
second series championship, battled a loose handling condition all
race long and finished 12th, the last driver on the lead lap.
Driving for underfunded Hattori Racing Enterprises, owned by former
driver Shigeaki Hattori of Japan, Moffitt picked up his sixth
victory of the season (and second straight) and the seventh of his
career. More than 20 years ago, Hattori won the first of his two
Indy Lights races at Homestead after leading 64 of 67 laps in a
"That was the longest 20-30 laps of my life," Moffitt said of the
final run to the checkered flag. "Man, I was just glad we could get
to the white flag without a caution and clean sailing. We had a
great truck all day.
"It's unreal. We all know the story by now. We didn't know if we
were going to race this whole year. I didn't if I would have the
opportunity to run for a championship, even after we got our first
win. Everyone pulled together hard here.
"We've had so many partners who came in at clutch moments and got us
to the race track."
Hattori fought sponsorship issues throughout the season, and Moffitt
has yet to announce a deal for next season, but that didn't deter
the driver of the No. 16 Toyota from battling Gragson from a restart
on Lap 68 until he finally prevailed on Lap 99 -- after two
concerted runs at his rival for the title.
"I just got my tires a little too hot the first time I got next to
him, and I probably didn't commit enough to the move," said Moffitt,
who competed in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series before landing
the ride with HRE. "I kind of let them cool down and ran the top
trying to get some momentum.
"He was kind of backing up, and we could still run the bottom really
well, which is kind of unusual for Homestead."
Moffitt lost the lead briefly but gained three seconds on Gragson in
the championship battle when the drivers came to pit road for their
final stops, Gragson on Lap 101 and Moffitt one circuit later. After
returning to the point on Lap 106, Moffitt wasn't challenged the
rest of the way.
Sauter's performance was surprising, too, in that his team never hit
a workable setup.
"It was awful," admitted Sauter, who couldn't find the form that
carried him to Victory Lane six times this year. "Just no grip. We
laid an egg tonight. When you suck that bad, you just go home and
ask yourself, 'What the hell happened?' "
Stewart Friesen finished fourth and Sheldon Creed fifth. Matt
Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Haley, Jesse Little and Ben Rhodes
completed the top 10.
Myatt Snider, who finished 14th, claimed Sunoco Rookie of the Year
honors for the series.
[to top of second column]
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES RACE -- Ford EcoBoost 200,
Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.
1. (5) Brett Moffitt (P), Toyota, 134.
2. (1) Grant Enfinger, Ford, 134.
3. (3) Noah Gragson (P), Toyota, 134.
4. (2) Stewart Friesen, Chevrolet, 134.
5. (13) Sheldon Creed, Chevrolet, 134.
6. (22) Matt Crafton, Ford, 134.
7. (8) John Hunter Nemechek(i), Chevrolet, 134.
8. (4) Justin Haley (P), Chevrolet, 134.
9. (9) Jesse Little, Ford, 134.
10. (11) Ben Rhodes, Ford, 134.
11. (14) Harrison Burton, Toyota, 134.
12. (6) Johnny Sauter (P), Chevrolet, 134.
13. (15) Todd Gilliland #, Toyota, 133.
14. (12) Myatt Snider #, Ford, 133.
15. (17) Tyler Dippel, Chevrolet, 133.
16. (7) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 133.
17. (19) Cory Roper, Ford, 133.
18. (21) Jeb Burton(i), Toyota, 132.
19. (23) Brennan Poole, Toyota, 132.
20. (25) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 132.
21. (16) Austin Hill, Chevrolet, 132.
22. (31) Justin Fontaine #, Chevrolet, 131.
23. (24) Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 130.
24. (10) Chris Windom, Toyota, 130.
25. (29) Ray Ciccarelli, Chevrolet, 129.
26. (27) DJ Kennington, Chevrolet, 129.
27. (18) Robby Lyons, Chevrolet, 124.
28. (28) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 124.
29. (26) Tanner Thorson, Chevrolet, Engine, 120.
30. (30) Reid Wilson, Chevrolet, Engine, 80.
31. (20) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, Suspension, 20.
32. (32) Camden Murphy, Chevrolet, Vibration, 11.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 133.684 mph.
Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 30 Mins, 13 Secs. Margin of Victory: 2.000
Caution Flags: 2 for 12 laps.
Lead Changes: 10 among 7 drivers.
Lap Leaders: G. Enfinger 1-33; M. Crafton 34-36; N. Gragson (P)
37-38; M. Crafton 39; B. Moffitt (P) 40-66; N. Gragson (P) 67-98; B.
Moffitt (P) 99-101; S. Creed 102; B. Rhodes 103-104; J. Anderson
105; B. Moffitt (P) 106-134.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): B. Moffitt (P) 3
times for 59 laps; N. Gragson (P) 2 times for 34 laps; G. Enfinger 1
time for 33 laps; M. Crafton 2 times for 4 laps; B. Rhodes 1 time
for 2 laps; S. Creed 1 time for 1 lap; J. Anderson 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 98,18,16,8,88,24,52,97,41,2
Stage #2 Top Ten: 16,18,98,88,8,52,97,24,2,21
--By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service. Special to Field Level
[© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2018 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.