Brett Moffitt is Impressive at New Track, with New Team, in New Series Grimes, Iowa (October 12, 2009) -- Brett Moffitt moved to the next level this past weekend, competing with the ARCA RE/MAX series for the first time ever. The teenager from...
Brett Moffitt is Impressive at New Track, with New Team, in New Series
Grimes, Iowa (October 12, 2009) -- Brett Moffitt moved to the next level this past weekend, competing with the ARCA RE/MAX series for the first time ever. The teenager from Grimes, Iowa, inked a one-time deal to drive for the Lakeville, MN based Win-Tron Racing team in the season final ARCA RE/MAX American 200, held at Rockingham Speedway. It was Moffitt's first time to compete at Rockingham, and the practice session was his first time in the seat of an ARCA car. He had never raced for the Win-Tron team, and it was his first ever appearance with the ARCA RE/MAX series.
Moffitt caught the eye of the Win-Tron team, after concluding an exceptional rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Series East, where he competed in all eleven events and scored 10 top ten's, 5 top five's, 2 event wins, and 1 pole. On his way to finishing third in the overall season points, Moffitt became the youngest driver in NASCAR history to sit on the pole, win an event, and lead the series points, all marks that had been set by NASCAR driver Joey Logano.
Saturday's practice session seemed to be Moffitt's biggest hurdle of the weekend. Remember that Moffitt was working with a completely new team, in a car he had never driven, with an engine package that was new to him, too. On top of that, Mother Nature threw in a little rain, which shortened the scheduled practice time, and the practice was very much needed to get Moffitt acclimated to the new team and its car. From the beginning, the car was very tight and very cantankerous. It seemed that every effort made to adjust the car still left it with an extreme push. With time running out thanks to that bit of rain, final adjustments seemed to loosen the car, but there was no time left to fine tune the set up. What they had was what they would have to use for qualifying and the start of the race, as the post-qualifying impound procedure was in place for the final event of ARCA's season. Forty-six teams were on hand to qualify for the forty-one car starting field. Moffitt made the field, qualifying twenty-fourth, with a qualifying time of 25.555 seconds or 140.873 miles per hour. This was not the result the young gun was looking for, but he was safely in the field, driving an unfamiliar car, for the first time at "The Rock", and working with a new team. Notable drivers in the field included: Justin Lofton, Casey Roderick, Parker Kligerman, Steve Arpin, Frank Kimmel, Ken Schrader, Corey LaJoie, Norm Benning, and veteran James Hylton. Five cars failed to qualify, including Brian Ickler.
With the drop of the green, Moffitt took charge from his twenty-fourth starting position. It really doesn't seem to matter what type of car the youngster is in - he adapts quickly. Using his signature calm and cool demeanor, Moffitt started his march forward. With good pit stops, good restarts, and good decision-making on the track, Moffitt picked cars off one at a time throughout the early and mid parts of the two-hundred lap race. Moffitt commented, "As the race progressed, most of the cars developed a tight condition. The leaders were running a high line, but you have to be able to race where the others are not. As I followed cars into the turns they would wash up, so I would just hammer down and drive under them through the corners." With the race winding down, Moffitt had raced his way up to twelfth and was battling with more experienced drivers, working hard to break into the top ten. At one point Moffitt had passed NASCAR veteran, Ken Schrader, and had no problem getting by ARCA legend, Frank Kimmel. Getting fresh tires during a late race yellow, Schrader would get back by Moffitt in the end, but he commented after the race, "That kid is one hell-of-a racer. I've been watching him this season. This was the first time I have had a chance to race with him. Keep an eye on him; he is going places." In the end, Brett Moffitt drove the wheels off the #32 Win-Tron -- Grandstay Dodge, made some smart moves late in the race, and raced his way into the top ten, finishing his first-ever ARCA series race with a very respectable tenth place run.
After the race, Win-Tron's Nate Thiesse commented, "We had been watching Brett this year as he competed in the NASCAR Camping World Series East with Andy Santerre Motorsports. We knew he had some talent, but he proved how much he had today. I know Brett was looking for a top five finish, and if we could have put together a better qualifying run, I am sure he could have pulled it off. He was a bit behind the eight ball, jumping into a different car with our team for the first time, plus racing at a track he had never seen in his first event with ARCA. He reacted well beyond his age, his experience, and way beyond our expectations. We were extremely happy with his performance. He raced from twenty-fourth to tenth, and we loaded an unscathed car at the end of two-hundred laps. Brett Moffitt is a future star in racing."