ES: Dover: Brett Moffitt preview

Moffitt Returns to Podium with Second Place Finish in New Hampshire Grimes, Iowa (September 22, 2009) -- NASCAR Camping World Series East rookie driver Brett Moffitt performed nearly flawlessly last Friday evening during the rain-shortened...

Moffitt Returns to Podium with Second Place Finish in New Hampshire

Grimes, Iowa (September 22, 2009) -- NASCAR Camping World Series East rookie driver Brett Moffitt performed nearly flawlessly last Friday evening during the rain-shortened "Heluva Good Fall 125" at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Moffitt commented, "The Andy Santerre Motorsports team gave me one of the best cars I have had all season. We were strong all day, and if not for the late race yellows, I believe we had a good chance of winning this race. At any rate, we are back on the upswing heading into the last race of the season, and we are looking for a strong finish at Dover to conclude the NCWSE season."

Regarding the upswing, Brett Moffitt and the ASM team have experienced the ups and downs of a rookie season, with the young Moffitt sitting in former NCWSE champion-turned-car-owner Andy Santerre's cars. Moffitt came out of the box strong at the beginning of the season. Early on, Moffitt eclipsed Joey Logano's marks and became the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win an event, sit on the pole and hold the series points lead in the NCWSE series. Moffitt and team experienced some mid-season lows, suffering from cut tires and some pesky mechanical problems, but through it all, the sixteen year old true rookie remained calm and poised, a trait that has become his racing trademark. Moffitt and team never dropped below sixth place in the overall points standings and with solid runs at Iowa Speedway and last Friday at Loudon, Moffitt has climbed back into the top five, sitting in fifth place, a mere 146 points behind the series points leader and fellow rookie, Ryan Truex. "Brett has always had a lot of confidence and has handled his rookie season more like a seasoned pro, rather than a NASCAR rookie. He performed well beyond his age and experience last Friday at New Hampshire, and he is definitely on a good roll at the end of the season. I predict a strong and aggressive run at the season ending race at Dover. There is no reason why we should not end the season with a win," commented team owner Andy Santerre.

On Friday, Moffitt and team looked good. Moffitt posted the sixth fastest time during the first practice session, and as has become typical, he improved his time during qualifying by running a lap time of 30.105 seconds, equating to 126.517 mph, a time that would be third quick among the thirty-five cars on hand to contest the race.

Immediately prior to the start of the race, Mother Nature dropped some rain on New Hampshire Motor Speedway, just enough to delay the start time, forcing NASCAR officials to notify the field that the scheduled 125 lap event would be shortened to 99 laps. From the drop of the green, Moffitt proved he was there to race. At the end of the first lap, Moffitt had moved into second place, just 0.171 seconds behind the leader, Eddie MacDonald. By lap five, MacDonald, Moffitt, and the balance of the top five cars had begun to pull away from the rest of the field. Caution number one of the day came on lap 15, and Moffitt ducked into the pits for service, while MacDonald, the leader, stayed out. On the lap 18 restart, Moffitt lined up in tenth. Caution number two came on lap 31, allowing Moffitt to return to the pits for some quick adjustments, and on returning to the track, he would line up ninth for the lap 35 restart. Another caution slowed the field on lap 43, and the race resumed on lap 46. Working his way to the front, using calm and calculated moves, Moffitt raced his way back into the top ten, running eighth at the end of lap 50. Moffitt continued to move forward during green flag racing from lap 46 to lap 72, when caution again slowed the field for back stretch debris. At the lap 76 green, Moffitt had moved to sixth, but a multi-car wreck on the restart brought out the fifth caution flag of the day. Green flag racing was short-lived, starting on lap 80 and ending for caution number 6 on lap 86. Moffitt had driven back to third place and restarted the race in third, behind only MacDonald and race leader, Kevin Swindell, on lap 92. MacDonald beat Swindell to the line, but caution number seven slowed the field again with MacDonald, Swindell, Moffitt, Josh Richards and Ryan Truex filling the top five spots. One lap 96, NASCAR informed the teams that there would be one attempt at a green-white-checker finish. On the lap 97 restart, Moffitt scampered past Swindell, but just couldn't get past MacDonald, following him to the checker flag and crossing the finish line a mere 0.494 seconds behind, for a well deserved second place finish.

Commenting after the race Moffitt said, "The ASM team gave me one of the best cars I have had this year. We just didn't need all of the yellows at the end of the race. If not for the yellows, I believe we could have challenged MacDonald, but I want to congratulate him on his win. Eddie (MacDonald) has been running great lately, and we can't be too down about finishing second to him."

"Brett drove his heart out today and was spot-on all day long. His pit stops were good, and he had an outstanding day restarting after the cautions. This kid is the real deal. We are looking forward to a strong, aggressive run by him in the season finale at Dover. I couldn't be more proud of Brett than I am after today's race," was the statement from Andy Santerre.

For his efforts, Moffitt was awarded the SUNOCO "Rookie of the Race" Award, and with one race left on the 2009 NCWSE series schedule, Moffitt sits inside the top five in fifth place in the official NCWSE series points. Moffitt has eleven starts, nine top ten finishes, five top five finishes, one event win, and one pole position for the season. On Friday, September 25, Moffitt and the Andy Santerre Motorsports team will conclude the NASCAR Camping World Series East season at the Dover International Speedway, Dover, DE.

-credit: asr

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Kevin Swindell , Joey Logano , Eddie MacDonald , Brett Moffitt , Ryan Truex , Josh Richards