Silver Lining in the Cloud after Flat Tire Sidelines Moffitt at NHMS Grimes, IA (July 2, 2009) -- A cut tire snapped the Andy Santerre Motorsports prepared ...
Silver Lining in the Cloud after Flat Tire Sidelines Moffitt at NHMS
Grimes, IA (July 2, 2009) -- A cut tire snapped the Andy Santerre Motorsports prepared #44, driven by rookie Brett Moffitt, into the turn three wall and rendered it un-repairable on lap thirty-nine during the "Heluva Good! Summer 125" last Friday evening at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway Camping World Series East event.
Prior to cutting down the tire, young Moffitt had a good weekend going. On Friday, Moffitt had a qualifying effort of 30.690 seconds, equating to a lap speed of 124.106 mph. That time was fourth quickest, putting Moffitt outside the second row to start the 125 lap event. The young CWSE Rookie of The Year contender entered the event leading the series point standings and seemed to be unaffected by the fact that the CWSE was part of an event card that included the Nationwide Series, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The best-of-the-best in the nation were gathered all in one place for the weekend, with all eyes on the talent competing in the driver development Camping World Series East.
From the drop of the green, Moffitt was quick and smart. Moving into third on lap one, Moffitt had settled into a great rhythm, keeping the leader in sight and pacing himself, preparing for the long run. Moffitt's spotter had kept him informed of the leaders' lap times, and as the race settled in to a long green flag run, Moffitt's lap times had become faster than the leaders. Racing through lap traffic, Moffitt had caught the leaders and was poised to pick them off one at a time, when the time was right. Lap thirty-nine was the tragic lap. When approaching turn three, a cut tire drove Moffitt straight to the wall and contact with it. With the yellow flag out, Moffitt re-fired the engine, giving it his all to get the car to pit road for needed repairs. Moffitt commented after the race, "We found out the right front rotor was broken. I was trying to get it behind the wall, but the right front was locking up, and we couldn't turn the car," he concluded. Unable to drive the car, a tow truck was sent out, and Moffitt was done for the day. It was disappointing for the young driver, as he had entered the New Hampshire event as the CWSE points leader, the youngest driver ever in the series history to accomplish that feat. The official finishing order listed Moffitt with his worst finish to date, twenty-seventh.
If there was a bright spot in the day, it was that the DNF dropped Moffitt only as far as fifth place in the over all points, a mere 28 points behind fellow rookie contender, Ryan Truex, and only 55 points behind the new series points leader, Jody Lavender. Car owner, Andy Santerre, commented, "Brett can make these points up easily. He is one of the most talented drivers out there. He is learning daily and is already talented and wise beyond his years. We just have to keep him racing for now." Santerre was referring to the current lack of sponsorship on the #44.
Moffitt was quick to remind all, "We are still sponsorless, and we have enough funds for only one more race. Our plan was always to run the first seven races and hope to find a partner for the remainder of the season. At this point, we'll race at Thompson, and that's it."
The silver lining in the cloud for Moffitt actually came the day after his race. Moffitt and his father were the guests of NASCAR in their hospitality suite on Saturday for the Nationwide race. But wait - there is more! Before the Nationwide event, Brett was personally escorted through the pits by NASCAR President, Mike Helton. Helton Introduced Moffitt to NASCAR principals, including Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Richard Childress, Richard Petty, and Ty Norris, Vice President and General Manager of Michael Waltrip Racing. Les Westerfield, an official with the Camping World East Series, also introduced Brett to Larry McRenolds and commented to McRenolds the he had better keep an eye on Brett. Potential sponsorship partners, pay attention here! Not every driver gets that kind of personal attention from a NASCAR officer.
Up next for Moffitt and the ASM team is the NASCAR Camping World Series East event at Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, CT, on July 11th. The race will mark the seventh event of eleven on the series' 2009 schedule.