Top Ten Finish at Lime Rock Keeps Moffitt in the Hunt Grimes, Iowa (August 19, 2009) -- Brett Moffitt, the sixteen year old rookie NASCAR driver from Grimes, Iowa, continues to hold a firm grip on sixth place in the NASCAR Camping World East ...
Top Ten Finish at Lime Rock Keeps Moffitt in the Hunt
Grimes, Iowa (August 19, 2009) -- Brett Moffitt, the sixteen year old rookie NASCAR driver from Grimes, Iowa, continues to hold a firm grip on sixth place in the NASCAR Camping World East Series point standings after another top ten finish during his rookie season, competing in the NASCAR Camping World Series East division. Last Saturday, Moffitt finished officially in ninth place after a solid day of racing, never falling out of the top ten during the Mohegan Sun 200 at Lime Rock Park.
Practice times posted for the Lime Rock event had the young Moffitt running a fast lap time of 55.611 seconds or 99.045 MPH, seventh quick during practice. After two practice sessions it would be time for qualifying. Moffitt improved his qualifying time substantially over his practice time by qualifying at a lap time of 55.541 seconds or 100.988 MPH, a mere .814 seconds or 1.53 MPH slower than pole setter Matt DiBenedetto. Moffitt's time was the fourth fastest time, putting Moffitt outside the second row for the start of the race.
At the drop of the green, Moffitt easily maintained his fourth place starting position as the race would start to unfold. Moffitt made his first pit stop on lap 21, still maintaining a very consistent fourth after the first round in the pits. Lap 28 found Moffitt racing into third place, closing on second place Jody Lavender and by lap 31, Moffitt has taken over second, chasing the leader, DiBenedetto. Lap 43 found Moffitt pushing the leader, DiBenedetto, and they both had comfortably pulled away from the rest of the field. Just 3 seconds behind the leader and 15 seconds ahead of the third place car, Moffitt pulled down pit road on lap 63. Knowing that everyone would need to pit for fuel, Santerre brought Moffitt in just to take a splash of fuel. This strategy should have given Moffitt excellent track position, maybe even the lead after others had cycled through their fuel stops. Moffitt returned to the track, still running in the top five, in fifth place, only to see a caution flag fly on the very next lap for the leader, DiBenedetto, who ran off the track on the downhill. With the planned pit strategy now thrown out the window, Moffitt restarted on lap 77 in fourth place, but Moffitt had some trouble too, running into the grass through the big bend and losing several spots while running through the grass. Caution number four came out on lap 78, basically freezing the field and the finish, as lap 84 would leave only two more laps of racing. For the restart Moffitt, would line up in tenth place. Driving his heart out for only the second time on a road course in his young, rookie career, Moffitt found his way around veteran NASCAR driver Steve Park, crossing the finish line and receiving the checkered flag on lap 86, finishing in ninth place - another solid top ten finish for the young and talented NASCAR rookie contender. Top 10 finishers were: 1. Ryan Truex, 2. Eddie McDonald, 3. Jason Holehouse, 4. Alex Kennedy, 5. Mike Olsen, 6. Jesse Hernandez, 7. Ryan Duff, 8. Dustin Delaney, 9. Moffitt, and 10. Jeff Anton.
Asked about his performance after his ninth race in 2009, Moffitt commented, "It seems lately that if we don't have bad luck, we wouldn't have any luck at all. We had a nice run going here, and I really like racing the road courses, but I made a mistake at the big bend late in the race that cost us five spots. Still we had a top ten day, but it was disappointing after running as good as second for most of the day."
After the race, Moffitt's car owner and mentor Andy Santerre defended Moffitt. "Brett is hanging his head a little low right now, but he is being a little hard on himself. People need to remember that he is a sixteen year old rookie competing in only his second year on asphalt. He is racing against NASCAR veterans, as well as several rookies who have had a lot more seat time in these cars than he has. On top of that, our team is one of the most underfunded teams in the series. All of us are doing all we can to keep Brett in the series until the end of the season, hoping someone will notice the outstanding talent this young man has. In my opinion, Brett is the most talented driver competing in the NCWSE today. I sincerely hope we can keep him racing. He definitely has the talent to compete in NASCAR's big league someday."
Moffitt and the Andy Santerre Motorsports team have high hopes for his next race, competing at the Iowa Speedway, his home track, on Friday, September 4th. The event will be the "Central Iowa Building & Construction Trades 125" for the NASCAR Camping World Series West division. It is the warm-up for Saturday's Lucas Oil 200 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Moffitt will then finish the season with the NASCAR Camping World Series East division, racing on September 18th at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH, and on September 25th at the Dover International Speedway located in Dover, DE.