Brett Moffitt Pulls Off A Bold, Last-Lap Pass To Win At Michigan International Speedwayby Camille Jones August 28, 2016
BROOKLYN, Mich. – Brett Moffitt battled his way to his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory with a thrilling last-lap pass for the lead in Saturday’s Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway.
The win is Moffitt’s first victory in only his sixth start in the series. The 24-year-old driver of the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra started Saturday’s rain-delayed event sixth and led only the final lap of the event. Moffitt watched from only a few positions back in the final laps, as the leaders battled back and forth before the white flag flew. It was then, that he was able to throttle his way to the front of the pack, passing from third to first on the top line to clear the leaders and claim the victory.
“This has been huge,” Moffitt said. “At the beginning of the year we didn’t have anything on the schedule. Coming here and these guys give me such good race trucks week in and week out. I knew it was just a matter of time. Honestly, during the race I didn’t think it was going to be our day. It was just tough out there with the draft, but what an amazing finish. It couldn’t have worked out any better for us. I can’t thank Tom DeLoach (team owner) and everybody at Red Horse Racing enough and Camping World for putting this on.”
Going into the white-flag lap, Moffitt was holding on for the best finish he could until, he saw a strategy to go for the win. When William Byron dove underneath Timothy Peters in Turn 1 on the last lap, that opened the door for William Byron to make the three-wide pass on the high side to take over the lead and win the race.
“Honestly, I was just hoping to hold onto third there for a while,” Moffitt added. “I didn’t really think it was going to be our day to win. I knew we were going to be competitive and when the 9 (William Byron) got to the inside of him (Timothy Peters), I knew it would slow them both down and I thought this couldn’t be any more perfect. Barely got to the inside of him going into (turn) one and from then on I was just hoping and praying that it was enough to hold him off down the backstretch.”
Moffitt knew that making the pass on his Red Horse Racing teammate, Timothy Peters, would possibly take Peters out of contention for the win and a spot in the Chase; however, Moffitt also knew that his job was to race as hard as he could for the win because his team deserved the victory, also.
“I’m here to win – I said it earlier and I’ll say it again, I’m not going to wreck him for it,” Moffitt said. “I’m going to race him clean because I know he needs to get in the Chase, but this team needs to win and these guys deserve to win. That’s what we come to do and our partners at Toyota want to do the same and we got it.”
Peters, driver of the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra, was forced to settle for a second place finish after being passed by his teammate on the final lap. The series veteran led 42 laps in Saturday’s 100-lap event at the two-mile track. He came up one spot short of the victory, claiming his ninth top-10 finish in 2016.
“Not really frustrating from a company standpoint,” Peters said. “Personally, it’s very frustrating, but you have to look at it – we’ve been consistent all year long and the Lord had a plan today and we finished second and that’s the way we look at it. Leading the most laps, that’s fine and dandy and wish we could have capped it off for sure. Again it goes back to a good company finish – one-two for Red Horse Racing. It hasn’t been done in a while, it’s been done before, but we had a great truck all day and it’s all about execution
Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 19 DrawTite Ford F-150, drove up through the field from the 13th starting position to finish third. The finish is Hemric’s second top-10 finish in two starts at Michigan International Speedway. In the championship standings, Hemric sits second, only 26 points back from William Byron, who’s leading the way.
William Byron finished in the fourth position after leading nine laps on Saturday. Closing out the top-five was Cameron Hayley. Rounding out the top-10 was Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger, Johnny Sauter and Tyler Young.
There were seven cautions for a total of 36 laps in the Careers for Veterans 200. Two of the caution flags were flown for separate incidents involving the leaders of the race.
On lap 76, Christopher Bell in the No. 4 JBL Toyota Tundra went to make a pass for the lead after waiting anxiously in the top-five for many laps. Bell dove low to make the pass on the leader, Cole Custer, but he lost grip and went spinning violently into the wall just as he was hit by the oncoming truck of Spencer Gallagher.
“I’m fine, just really bummed for everybody that works on this JBL Toyota No. 4 team,” Bell said. “We had a really fast Tundra today and I felt like I did a really good job all race just biding my time, I knew I had a really good Tundra. Just trying to take care of it and I got the opportunity there late in the race and still had a lot of race left and probably should have waited a little bit. I had the opportunity, tried to take it and it didn’t work out.”
Cole Custer tried his hand at the lead after a restart on lap 83, but was quickly shuffled to third as Peters and Moffitt rushed by him. After minor contact with the No. 11 of Moffitt on lap 83, Custer went soaring into the outside wall, leaving him with severe and day-ending damage to his No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado.
With just two races left before the start of the Chas, rookie William Byron currently leads the championship standings over Daniel Hemric by a mere 36 points. Peters is third, 44 points back.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to competition on Sunday, September 4 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Chevrolet Silverado 250. Live coverage of the race will be found on FOX Sports 1(FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images