Moffitt takes wild Truck win at Atlanta after drama for Kyle Busch

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Moffitt takes wild Truck win at Atlanta after drama for Kyle Busch
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Feb 24, 2018, 11:57 PM

When the New Year started, Hattori Racing wasn’t sure who would be driving the No. 16 AISIN Toyota Tundra.

Brett Moffitt, Hattori Racing Enterprises, AISIN Atlanta Toyota Tundra in victory lane
Brett Moffitt, Hattori Racing Enterprises, AISIN Atlanta Toyota Tundra
Brett Moffitt, Hattori Racing Enterprises, AISIN Atlanta Toyota Tundra celebrates
Brett Moffitt, Hattori Racing Enterprises, AISIN Atlanta Toyota Tundra takes the checkered flag
Brett Moffitt, Hattori Racing Enterprises, AISIN Atlanta Toyota Tundra celebrates
Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Cessna Toyota Tundra
Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Cessna Toyota Tundra
Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra
Matt Crafton, ThorSport Racing, Rip It / Menards Ford F-150 crew

They made the right choice by putting Brett Moffitt behind the wheel.

On Saturday, Moffitt won the Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway—the first win for Shigeaki Hattori and the second for the driver. 

“First of all I have to thank Shige,” said Moffitt, whose first and only other Camping World Truck Series win came at Michigan in 2016. "This is unbelievable to even be in a race car at this point let alone in victory lane. We had a really good truck all night and Kyle (Busch) spun his tires earlier and that put us back, but I knew the 13 (Myatt Snider) was a sitting duck (on the final restart) and I just wanted to get a good restart.

"Hopefully they got into a battle behind us and they did – it’s pretty surreal.”

Moffitt restarted third and jumped to the inside of Snider and Johnny Sauter for the lead through Turns 1 and 2 after the race went into overtime.

Noah Gragson finished second followed by Sauter, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen, Myatt Snider, Jesse Little, Grant Enfinger and Parker Kligerman.

Sauter retained the NCWTS points lead by 31 over Crafton.

Kyle Busch led a race-high 67 laps, but problems in the pits on the last stop left the No. 4 truck one lap down for the final three-lap shootout. He finished 21st.

The third stage went green on Lap 87. Crafton moved up to second with Busch, Rhodes, Little Gragson, Moffitt, Kligerman, Enfinger and Davis in tow.

Busch passed Crafton for second on the backstretch on Lap 92. Rhodes remained fourth and Little rounded out the top-five trucks, Busch set his sights on Sauter and completed the move on Lap 93. Rhodes passed Crafton on the next lap for third. Moffitt passed Little for fifth on Lap 97.

With 30 laps remaining, Busch held a .897-second lead over Sauter. Rhodes led the Thorsport contingent with Crafton running fourth, Enfinger eighth and Myatt Snider in 10th.

Moffitt passed Crafton on Lap 105. Little ran sixth followed by Gragson, Engineer, Friesen and Snider. Muffin moved by Rhodes on the backstretch with 20 to go. Busch held a 1.2-second lead over Sauter.

Sauter was caught in traffic by the lapped truck on Bo LeMastus with 15 laps to go which allowed Busch to extend his lead to over three seconds. Little passed Crafton with 11 to go. Sauter cut Busch’s lead to 2.496-seconds with 10 to go. Moffitt remained third, Rhodes fourth and Little fifth. Little passed Rhodes on Lap 122. 

With six laps to go, Josh Reaume got sideways off of Turn 2 to bring out the fifth caution. Sargeant, who was running 12th, received front end damage.

Busch led 62 laps with five circuits remaining. Sauter was second followed by Moffitt, Little, Crafton, Rhodes, Gragson, Friesen, Enfinger and Davis. Snider, Hill, Kligerman, Dillon, Sergeant, Nemechek, Self, LeMastus, Forrister and Coughlin rounded out the top 20.

Busch and the lead lap cars pitted on Lap 128. Busch’s crew botched a two-tire stop after the rear tire changer loosened the lugs on the left rear and the driver left the pits. Busch rolled off and reached Turn 1 when his wheel came off.

Snider assumed the lead with a two-tire stop. Sauter ran second followed by Moffitt, Little, Crafton, Rhodes, Friesen, Enfinger, Gragson and Austin Hill. Busch restarted 20th.

Moffitt jumped to the lead with Gragson and Sauter battling behind. Muffin’s lead was .709-seconds coming to the white flag.

Stage 2

Kyle Busch Motorsports swept the first two stages with the boss winning the second segment.

Busch led 27 of 80 laps at the line. Sauter was second followed by Moffitt, Crafton, Gragson, Enfinger, Davis, Little, Kligerman and Sargeant rounded out the top 10.

Crafton led the field to green on Lap 48. He and Sauter were side-by-side at the line after the first lap. Moffitt ran third followed by Busch and Enfinger.

Crafton held the point at Lap 50 be a nose over Sauter, but the No. 21 finally made the pass on the next circuit and brought Busch with him. Crafton fell to third with Moffitt fourth. Busch took the lead at the line on Lap 53.

Busch had a half-second lead on Lap 55 followed by Sauter, Moffitt, Crafton, Enfinger, Davis, Gragson, Little, Sergeant and Coughlin.

The third caution was called for debris on Lap 59. Busch controlled the point followed by Sauter, Moffitt, Crafton, Enfinger, Davis, Gragson, Little, Sargeant and Coughlin. Rhodes pitted and held onto 20th.

When the race went green on Lap 64, Moffitt challenged Busch for the lead. Sauter dropped to third followed by Crafton and Gragson.

With 10 laps remaining in the stage, the top five remained intact, with Enfinger running sixth followed by Davis, Kligerman, Sergeant and Nemechek.

Busch’s lead was 1.647-seconds over Moffitt with five laps to go in the stage. Sauter, Crafton and Gragson completed the top five.

Sauter passed Moffitt for second on the outside coming out of Turn 2 with three laps to determine the stage. Coming through Turn 3, Gragson caught Crafton coming to the line with one to go but the No. 88 held on to the line.

The 20-lead lap trucks pitted on Lap 83. Sauter beat Busch to the line.

“Good job, boys,” Sauter said. “Good job.”

Crafton, Moffitt, Little, Gragson, Davis, Kligerman, Enfinger and Sargeant rounded out the top 10. Rhodes worked his way back to 13th.

Stage 1

Gragson led all 40 laps en route to the first stage win. Crafton, Busch, Moffitt, Little, Rhodes, Sauter, Enfinger, Friesen and Davis rounded out the top 10.

Rhodes ran as high as third, but developed power issues with five laps remaining in the stage.

"There's something wrong with the motor..it completely shuts off in the corners,” Rhodes told crew chief Eddie Troconis.

Gragson moved by the boss on Lap 1 but didn’t complete the second lap before the No. 6 truck of Norm Benning lost control and spun sideways in Turn 2 to bring out the first caution. Busch ran second followed by Crafton, Spencer Davis, Justin Haley, Ben Rhodes, Cody Coughlin, Dalton Sergeant, Brett Moffitt and Stewart Friesen.

The race returned to green on Lap 6. Davis passed Coughlin for fourth on Lap 8 as Busch passed Crafton for second. Rhodes also passed Coughlin on Lap 10 and Moffitt followed.

Gragson held a 1.2-second lead over Busch after 15 laps. But Crafton passed Busch for second on the next circuit. Jesse Little passed Johnny Sauter for sixth on Lap 18. After 20 laps, Gragson’s advantage at the point was two-seconds over Crafton. Busch, Rhodes, Moffitt, Little, Sauter, Davis, Friesen and Coughlin rounded out the top 10. Twenty-four trucks remained on the lead lap.

Gragson led the first 25 laps. Crafton held onto second followed by Rhodes, Busch, Moffitt, Little, Sauter, Friesen, Enfinger and Davis. Gragson’s lead was 1.6-seconds after 30 laps.Twenty trucks remained on the lead lap. Justin Haley pitted on Lap 32 with a flat right-rear tire. He dropped to 24th, one lap down. Busch passed Rhodes for third on Lap 35 and Moffitt came on the next lap.

Crafton took the lead out of the pits after the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports team struggled to get the right rear off of Gragson’s truck. Sauter rolled off second followed by Busch, Moffitt, Gragson, Little, Enfinger, Friesen, Coughlin, Davis, Joe Nemechek, Sergeant, Kligerman, Snider and Austin Hill.

Ross Chastain replaced Wendell Chavous after the first stage.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 16 united_states Brett Moffitt  Toyota 134   1
2 18 united_states Noah Gragson  Toyota 134 1.326 42
3 21 united_states Johnny Sauter  Chevrolet 134 1.340 10
4 41 united_states Ben Rhodes  Ford 134 1.446  
5 88 united_states Matt Crafton  Ford 134 1.558 6
6 52 united_states Stewart Friesen  Chevrolet 134 1.855  
7 13 united_states Myatt Snider  Ford 134 2.396 2
8 97 united_states Jesse Little  Ford 134 2.523  
9 98 united_states Grant Enfinger  Ford 134 2.675  
10 75 united_states Parker Kligerman  Chevrolet 134 2.826  
11 20 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 134 2.829  
12 8 united_states Joe Nemechek  Chevrolet 134 3.053  
13 51 united_states Spencer Davis  Toyota 134 3.107  
14 25 united_states Dalton Sargeant  Chevrolet 134 5.254  
15 22 united_states Austin Wayne Self  Chevrolet 134 6.321  
16 7 united_states Korbin Forrister  Toyota 134 8.955  
17 54 united_states Bo Lemastus  Toyota 134 10.285  
18 02 united_states Austin Hill  Chevrolet 133 1 lap  
19 45 united_states Justin Fontaine  Chevrolet 133 1 lap  
20 2 united_states Cody Coughlin  Chevrolet 133 1 lap  
21 4 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 133 1 lap 65
22 24 united_states Justin Haley  Chevrolet 132 2 laps  
23 49 united_states Wendell Chavous  Chevrolet 131 3 laps  
24 3 united_states Jordan Anderson  Chevrolet 129 5 laps  
25 15 Robby Lyons  Chevrolet 128 6 laps  
26 10 united_states Jennifer Jo Cobb  Chevrolet 120 14 laps  
27 33 united_states Josh Reaume  Chevrolet 119 15 laps  
28 1 united_states Clay Greenfield  Chevrolet 116 18 laps  
29 6 united_states Norm Benning  Chevrolet 108 26 laps  
30 63 japan Akinori Ogata  Chevrolet 62 72 laps  
31 0 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 7 127 laps  
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About this article

Series NASCAR Truck
Event Atlanta
Location Atlanta Motor Speedway
Drivers Brett Moffitt
Teams Hattori Racing Enterprises
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Race report