Moffitt's NCWTS Return Gets Cut Short at Daytona
Brett Moffitt’s return to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) competition came to a premature end in Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) after being involved in an incident on lap 73. His methodical run through the field brought an early end to his first outing since returning to Hattori Racing Enterprises and resulted in a 26th-place finish.
Moffitt and the AISIN Group team led by crew chief Scott Zipadelli primarily focused on single-truck runs in two practice sessions on Thursday afternoon, and turned in the 22nd-fastest lap in qualifying on Friday. Zipadelli and Moffitt employed a conservative strategy at the drop of the green flag to avoid possible calamity that often occurs at the superspeedways. Moffitt kept his AISIN Group Toyota Tundra out of harm's way, but kept touch with the lead group and was scored 25th after the race's opening stage.
Moffitt pitted for four tires and a slight chassis adjustment to aid his free handling condition and restarted in 28th on lap 26. Stage 2 was a carbon copy of Stage 1 as Moffitt kept touch with the lead draft, but stayed clear of the fray in the lead pack. That strategy would yield great dividends after being scored 18th in the stage. Zipadelli gave Moffitt a short pit stop for fuel only under the caution and leaped to third by way of the strategic pit call.
Moffitt began mixing it up with the race leaders on the lap 47 restart and ran as high as third. The Grimes, Iowa native escaped two multi-truck incidents on successive cautions as the intensity began to escalate in the later stages. While running near the top 10 on lap 73, Moffitt was collected in a multi-truck accident when the race leader suffered a cut tire, causing a chain reaction and resulted in heavy damage to the No. 16 AISIN Group Toyota. Moffitt completed 72 of 100 laps and was credited with a 26th-place finish.
Brett Moffitt Quote:
“It looked like the No. 8 truck blew a tire getting into (turn) three there on the bottom. He kind of had it down on the apron and kind of started sliding back up. At that point, I elected to go to the bottom lane, they had momentum that lap, and tried to move up a little bit and got hit from behind in the right rear and got turned into the fence. We had a really good AISIN Tundra here and it’s a shame to have it pulled off on a wrecker, but we’ll bounce back and go to Atlanta next week and try to do a little better.”
“We really didn’t have a fast truck in qualifying. That was partially due to the engine deal. We didn’t have the spec engine, which I think hurt us in single-car runs. But at that point, we fully committed to going to race setup and in the draft we actually were really good. The truck was really stable where a lot of people were sliding around a little more as we saw all night. So, I was really able to be aggressive. We were just trying to ride and bide our time and play the chess game of what’s going to be the right line at the right time. Unfortunately, someone blew a tire there and spun getting into (turn) three and got caught up in it.”
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