Brett Moffitt, driver of the No. 16 Ibaraki Toyopet Toyota Tundra, captured his fourth top-five finish of the season and turned in an impactful performance in Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Moffitt led 28 laps and collected his first stage win en route to a fourth-place finish.
The No. 16 Ibaraki Toyopet team overcame a flat tire in Friday’s opening practice session to find a competitive balance for Moffitt in race trim. He lined up sixth for the green flag after qualifying was scrapped due to passing showers over Charlotte Motor Speedway. Moffitt immediately was on the move from the outset and entered the top five on the first lap. He quickly climbed to third by lap three and held that position until the race’s first caution on lap 21. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli brought Moffitt down pit road under the caution, nine laps before the end of Stage 1, for four tires, fuel, and air pressure adjustments to alleviate a tight balance. Moffitt restarted fourth with four fresh tires on lap 27 and banked his first stage win of the season, which garnered 10 points and one playoff point.
The Iowa native restarted in the lead to begin Stage 2 after staying out under the lap 31 caution. Moffitt led until lap 42 and settled into third while continuing to combat a tight handling condition. The balance of Stage 2 ran under the green flag and Moffitt collected eight points while running third on lap 60. Under the stage caution, the Ibaraki Toyopet team ripped off a stunning four-tire pit stop to vault Moffitt from third back into the lead for the lap 68 restart. A caution which followed on lap 82 split the field into different strategies. Zipadelli kept Moffitt on track to maintain position at the front of the field while other elected to pit. Moffitt would the lead until lap 86 and made his final four-tire pit stop of the night under caution on lap 89.
When he made his final trip to pit road, Moffitt was one of the only trucks to pit and restarted 22nd on lap 93. Over the ensuing 20 lap run, he set a blistering pace through the field and advanced to ninth when a caution flag flew on lap 113. Two restarts on laps 118 and 125, respectively, offered Moffitt opportunities to further advance his position, and he took full advantage. Moffitt rejoined the top five on lap 126 and took the checkered flag in fourth, his fourth top-five finish of 2018. The result moved Moffitt to third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points.