Brett Moffitt’s first excursion on the dirt at Eldora Speedway produced a fifth-place finish on Wednesday night. The driver of the No. 16 iRacing Toyota began his week by competing on iRacing to prepare for his Eldora Dirt Derby debut, and the training was rewarded with his seventh top-five finish of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series campaign.
Moffitt put his IMCA modified dirt experience to quick work on Tuesday evening by posting the fourth-quickest lap in the opening practice session. Dry slick track conditions during qualifying on Wednesday afternoon resulted in Moffitt recording the 12th-quickest time and positioned him third for his heat race. The Grimes, Iowa product held his position on the reworked track surface to finish third and earn the 12th starting position for the 150-lap main event.
The green flag waved over dry slick conditions on the half-mile dirt track and provided a steep challenge for Moffitt and the iRacing team. Throughout the first 40-lap stage, Moffitt lacked sufficient lateral grip and forward bite off each corner. He ran inside the top 15 for much of the opening stint despite the handling issues and was scored 17th at the end of the first stage. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli brought Moffitt to pit road for under the stage break for the only pit stop of the night for four tires and significant chassis adjustments. The iRacing team made wedge and air pressure adjustments and changes to three of the four shocks to add forward bite.
The adjustments proved to be a noticeable aid for Moffitt over the last two stages. He worked his way through heavy traffic from 17th to 13th in Stage 2 and positioned himself in contention for the final stage. Zipadelli kept Moffitt on track during the stage break and inherited the sixth position for the lap 91 restart. Moffitt made good use of the cushion in Turns 1 and 2 and advanced into the top five on lap 98. After momentarily slipping to eighth, Moffitt steered clear of incidents around him to retake sixth position and moved into the top five on the restart at lap 137. Despite restarting on the inside, Moffitt emerged from the three and four-wide chaos on the overtime restart to collect a fifth-place finish. Moffitt holds the third position in the NCWTS standings and remains second on the Playoff Grid.
Brett Moffitt Quote:
“We had a lot of fun out here tonight. Our iRacing Tundra was pretty good. Thanks to iRacing, I got some experience this week and got to practice and put it to use tonight.”
“A lot of it was track position. We played the game there and stayed out on the second stage and were about to hang on. We’re all running a lot of the same lap times and we figured if we got up there we could hang on to it. Wish we had a few more laps there at the end, I feel like we were racing with those guys pretty good. Unfortunately, this old man in the No. 88 (laughs) got by us at the end. It was fun racing though. It was a lot of fun. There’s some guys that have a lot of respect for each other and it’s a lot of fun racing on dirt with them."