NCWTS: Second No More; Moffitt Uses Last Lap Pass To Win Michigan Truck Thriller

Jacob Seelman 0 Comments

Brett Moffitt celebrated his first-ever NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory on Saturday at Michigan Int'l Speedway. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

Brett Moffitt celebrated his first-ever NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory on Saturday at Michigan Int’l Speedway. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Brett Moffitt made sure that the first lap led of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career paid all the dividends Saturday afternoon at Michigan Int’l Speedway.

Moffitt took advantage of Red Horse Racing teammate Timothy Peters entering turn one on the final lap, surging to the lead on the far outside as Peters battled for the win with points leader William Byron for most of the final two circuits.

Once Moffitt took the lead, however, he didn’t look back – driving away over the final pair of corners to notch his first career NASCAR national series victory with the first last-lap pass in NCWTS history at Michigan.

The win completes a run of recent success for the Grimes, Iowa native and did plenty to erase the sting of a near-miss at Bristol Motor Speedway last Wednesday. Moffitt finished second in Bristol and had a third-place finish to his credit as well from Pocono last month, prior to the breakthrough win.

“This is huge,” Moffitt said of the importance of his win in victory lane. “At the beginning of the year, I had nothing on my schedule, and coming here … these (Red Horse) guys have given me trucks that can win week-in and week-out. I knew it was only a matter of time.”

“Honestly during the race, I didn’t think it was going to be our day. It was tough out there with the draft. What an amazing finish though. It couldn’t have worked out any better for us.”

Moffitt’s win does not alter the Chase Grid, as he is filling in for the recovering Matt Tifft in the No. 11 Toyota Tundra, but the former NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year was fully cognizant that his win prevented Peters from locking into the Chase.

It didn’t mean he would have changed anything on the final lap, however.

“I’m here to win,” he stressed. “I wasn’t gonna wreck him for it – I was gonna race him clean the whole way cause he needs to get in the Chase – but this team needed a win and they deserved to win today. That’s what we come to do and we got it today.”

While the Toyotas of Peters and Byron dominated the day, the game-changing moment of the race occurred with 37 laps to go – when John Hunter Nemechek lost a right rear tire and brought out the caution flag.

Under that caution, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick and Rico Abreu stayed out, meaning that Custer brought the field back to green with 32 to go and had to fend off a furious charge from Byron on the restart. Behind them, however, Reddick was turned into the wall by Johnny Sauter coming down the frontstretch and blew a tire in turn three to bring out another caution.

Custer led off the next restart with 27 to go, but had a fierce charge from Byron as the two crossed the line in a near-dead heat.

The California young gun fought to get the lead back off turn two, but Byron’s teammate Christopher Bell dive-bombed in an attempt to take the lead on the inside of turn three, getting loose and spinning up the track before getting drilled by Gallagher on the high side.

The heavy impact ended both drivers’ days in a heap of steaming sheet metal with 25 laps remaining.

Custer brought the field back to green with 17 circuits left, but faded to fourth as Peters and Byron charged ahead to the lead. Falling back, Custer came across the nose of Moffitt and overcorrected off turn two, pounding the outside wall and ending his day after leading 18 laps.

While Timothy Peters led 42 laps on Saturday at Michigan, he missed out on leading the final one to teammate Brett Moffitt. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

While Timothy Peters led 42 laps on Saturday at Michigan, he missed out on leading the final one to teammate Brett Moffitt. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

An extended yellow for cleanup set up an eight-lap dash for glory on the final restart, of which Peters led every circuit except the final one.

The runner-up finish keeps him on the eighth and final Chase Grid position, but Peters was visibly dejected at the win that got away after climbing from his truck.

He led 42 of the race’s 100 laps.

“Good day for Red Horse Racing. Congrats to Brett, he definitely earned that one,” Peters said. “It’s a good day for us as a company. I wish we’d been first, but all in all, the company still brings the trophy home.”

“The 9 (Byron) locked onto our bumper in turn two and pushed us really hard, and we just had to do what we had to do going into that last lap to try to stay in front. It’s tough to swallow right there, but it felt good to run like we did all day.”

Daniel Hemric rallied through the field to finish third after an early-race pit strategy call before the caution clock expired at lap 31, with Byron and Cameron Hayley rounding out the top five.

Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger finished sixth through eighth, with Sauter rallying from his incident with Reddick to come home ninth. Tyler Young completed the top 10.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action on Sept. 4 with the Chevrolet Silverado 250 from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Full Results

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.