Brett Moffitt, driver of the No. 16 AISIN Group Toyota Tundra, recovered from an opening lap incident to secure a 12th-place finish at Dover International Speedway on Friday evening. The JEGS 200 marked Moffitt’s first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at “The Monster Mile” and now sits fourth in the drivers championship standings after five races.
Moffitt paced the final practice session on Friday afternoon and had high hopes with a brand-new chassis prepared by his Hattori Racing Enterprises team. The Grimes, Iowa native took the green flag from the 12th position, but was swept up in an incident on the opening lap. As the No. 52 truck spun off turn 4 and turned back across the track, Moffitt, in the outside lane, had nowhere to go and nosed into the No. 52. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli orchestrated the repairs during two pit stops to fix the nose and left front fender. Moffitt returned to action one lap down in 29th and miraculously finished Stage 1 in 15th on the lead lap at lap 45.
The damage to the front of the AISIN Group Toyota took away front downforce and hampered Moffitt’s progress towards the front in Stage 2. He battled an excessively tight balance during the segment and completed the stage in 13th.
Adjustments under the caution on lap 89 included air pressure changes and dropping the nose on a block to clearance the left front splitter. The unconventional method helped improve Moffitt’s balance after restarting 15th on lap 97. Moffitt rocketed to ninth by lap 105. As the tight balance returned due to the lack of downforce, Moffitt persevered to run inside the top 10 until a lap 155 pit stop. As he made a green flag four-tire stop, the caution flag flew and trapped him two laps down. He would regain one of his laps and took advantage of two restarts over the final 28 laps to advance from 17th to his 12th-place finishing position. Moffitt remains second on the NCWTS Playoff Grid.
Brett Moffitt Quote:
“It’s really unfortunate to get caught up in a wreck so early. We had a really strong AISIN Group Tundra in practice (on Friday) and I thought we would be one of the trucks to contend for the win. Scott (Zipadelli) and the whole team did a great job managing the situation and fixing the nose as good as they did. We were able to salvage a ton of points and raced inside the top 10 until that caution came out right at the beginning of a green flag pit cycle. You’ll have days like this, and it’s important to fight for every point you can. We’ll head to Kansas with the same truck we won with at Atlanta and try to park it in victory lane again.”