Grimes, Iowa (September 22, 2010) -- Brett Moffitt, driver of the ...
Grimes, Iowa (September 22, 2010) -- Brett Moffitt, driver of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Game Plan for Life Toyota, was on a mission heading into New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in Loudon last week.
Moffitt went out late in qualifying and laid down a blistering lap of 29.863 seconds at a speed of 127.543 miles per hour, winning the pole and making a sweep of the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East pole awards at NHMS. In the process, Moffitt also set a new track qualifying record, breaking the previous record which had stood since 2002.
"We knew how hard we were going to have to run to get the pole, but I felt it was necessary to push it," Moffitt said. "This place is a crazy one. At the banked tracks, if you drive it into the corners too hard, you have time to save it. Here on a flat track, if you drive it in too hard, you nail the wall. In practice, I braked at the No. 3 sign, but needed to go a little further before braking if I wanted the pole. During qualifying, I went to the next sign and then braked."
When the green flag dropped on Friday, Moffitt showed that his record-setting qualifying lap was not a fluke. He contended for the lead early in the race and continued to run in the lead pack of cars.
When caution came out on lap 33, Moffitt came to pit road for a fuel stop with the rest of the leaders. It was the opinion of the #20 JGR team that they could make it the rest of the way without having to pit again for fuel. The crew made some small adjustments to the car to help it turn better in the center of the corners, and Moffitt found himself sitting in seventh on the restart, behind the few cars that did not pit.
The caution came out again on lap 47, and Moffitt chose to pit for tires. He was happy with the car's handling, so the crew did not make any adjustments.
During a late-race restart with only three laps to go, Kevin Swindell, who was running second, spun his tires and was slow to take off, causing a pile-up behind him. Moffitt, who was running third at the time, narrowly missed getting collected in the melee when his teammate, Max Gresham, was spun from behind and crashed directly in front of Moffitt. Gresham's car had to be taken off on the hook, ending their day. The #20 JGR Toyota received only a minor right front tire rub, so the team opted to keep their track position and take their chances by staying on the track. The team's decision to stay out paid dividends, as Moffitt held his ground and came away with a second place finish, which returned him to third place in the overall point standings.
Moffitt is now only 36 points behind second place, which is currently held by Darrell Wallace, Jr. Ryan Truex continues to lead the point standings, and unless his team stumbles, his lead is all but insurmountable.
Moffitt not only had to conquer the race this week, but he also had to overcome adversity off the track. Immediately after winning the pole on Thursday, Moffitt went to NASCAR's infield care center with symptoms of dehydration. After routine tests, Moffitt was informed that he should go to the local hospital for further evaluation, and NASCAR would require a doctor's clearance for him to compete in Friday's race.
"I wasn't even sure if NASCAR would let me race on Friday," Moffitt said. "Luckily, they did. We had a pretty decent car, and we came home second. I am just glad we were able to get back on the track and come out of here with a great finish."
"If we can run like we did this week, then I feel really confident that we can at least grab second in the standings," Moffitt said. "That is my number one goal heading into Dover."
On Wednesday, Moffitt and the #20 JGR Game Plan for Life Toyota team will go to Dover, Delaware, where the season finale of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be run on Friday, September 24th. Moffitt won last year's race at Dover in his only previous start at the "Monster Mile".
"Dover is by far my favorite track," Moffitt said. "There is no better place to finish the year than Dover. I really think the track suits my driving style."
-source: brett moffitt PR