Steven B. Wilson
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Tyler Reddick endured a flurry of late-race incidents and five “NASCAR Overtimes” to win the PowerShares QQQ 300 on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
The season-opening race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series was scheduled for 120 laps (300 miles). By the time things wrapped up, a total of 143 laps had been run on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Reddick, a rookie driver in the No 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet partially owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., edged his JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler (No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet) in a door-rubbing photo finish. Officially, the margin of victory was listed as 0.000 seconds, the closest finish in NASCAR national series history. Two-time race winner Ryan Reed (No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford) finished third.
If the case of a late-race caution period using up the scheduled race distance, a NASCAR Overtime extends the race by two laps, via a “green-white-checkered” finish. But if a caution flag then comes out prior to the race leader crossing the line to begin the last lap – the white-flag lap – another OT is required. That happened four times Saturday.
“This feels amazing,” Reddick said. “Helluva way to start the year off with JR Motorsports … and get my first win for JR Motorsports.
“This is an amazing opportunity. Me and [crew chief] Dave [Elenz] are going to get along great. It’s going to take a little bit of time to really get honed in, but I guess we’re getting along pretty good, right off the bat.”
The PowerShares QQQ 300 has its own rich history that runs parallel to the race it always precedes, the DAYTONA 500. Through the years, many of NASCAR’s top drivers have run both events. That was the case again this year, with seven Monster Energy Series regulars who are in the DAYTONA 500 also racing Saturday, giving the PowerShares QQQ 300 an “all-star” flavor. There were also five former NASCAR Xfinity Series champions in the field: Daniel Suarez (2016), Chase Elliott (2014), Austin Dillon (2013), Jeff Green (2000) and Joe Nemechek (1992).
Two Monster Energy Series drivers, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott, led the first two of the race’s three stages, each 30 laps. Those first 60 laps were relatively uneventful with only one incident, that coming on Lap 10 with eight cars tangling in the frontstretch. That provided no indication of what to come, however, with 10 caution periods jammed into the final stage of 60 laps.
Prior to the PowerShares QQQ 300, a final practice session was held for Sunday’s 60th annual DAYTONA 500, set for 3 p.m. ET. (TV – FOX; Radio – MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.) Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., a heralded rookie driving for Richard Petty Motorsports, topped the session with a speed of 198.954 in the No. 43 Click ‘n Close Chevrolet. Wallace will start seventh Sunday, the first time a Petty car has had a top-10 DAYTONA 500 start since 2006.
Pole winner Alex Bowman (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) and 2016 DAYTONA 500 champion Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota) will lead the 40-car DAYTONA 500 field to the green from the front row on Sunday, to open the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Other notable DAYTONA 500 starting positions:
- Starting fifth, 2015 DAYTONA 500 champion Joey Logano (NO. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford);
- Starting sixth alongside Logano, 2007 DAYTONA 500 champion and former Monster Energy Series champion Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford).
- Starting 11th, defending DAYTONA 500 champion and former Monster Energy Series champion Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford);
- Starting 12th, former Monster Energy Series champion Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota), next to his his older brother;
- Starting 24th, reigning Monster Energy Series champion Martin Truex Jr. (No 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-Hour Energy Toyota);
- Starting 28th, Danica Patrick (No. 7 GoDaddy Chevrolet), racing in the DAYTONA 500 for the last time;
- Starting 35th, two-time DAYTONA 500 champion – and seven-time Monster Energy Series champion – Jimmie Johnson.
Tickets for the 60th annual DAYTONA 500 and other Speedweeks events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):
● Aric Almirola started Stage 1 in the 13th position and reached the top-10 before completing it in 15th.
● The Tampa, Florida, native pitted on lap 10 for fuel, four tires and adjustments.
● Almirola pitted at the conclusion of Stage 1 for fuel and adjustments to improve the No. 98 machine’s handling.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-60):
● The Ford driver began Stage 2 from the fourth spot, and finished second.
● At the end of the stage, Almirola made his third pit stop of the day for two right-side tires and fuel only.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 61-143):
● The 33-year-old started the final stage in the first position.
● After jockeying for positions throughout the final stage Almirola restarted fourth with five scheduled laps remaining in the race.
● Unfortunately, Almirola was caught up in a multi-car accident during the first overtime attempt which ultimately ended his day.
● This marks Almirola’s 10th NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and 101st career Xfinity start.
● Almirola led one time for four laps in the Smithfield/DenBeste Water Solutions Ford, bringing his Xfinity Series Daytona laps led total to 16.
●12 cautions slowed the race for 49 laps
●The race went 23 laps past the scheduled 120-lap distance.
●Tyler Reddick won the Powershares QQQ 300 to score his second careerXfinity Series victory, first of the season and first at Daytona. His margin of victory over second-place Elliot Sadler was .001 seconds.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 98 Smithfield/DenBeste Water Solutions Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi DenBeste:
“I hate that we got caught up in a wreck. Our Ford Mustang was really fast and I thought we were going to get us another Xfinity victory, but unfortunately we didn’t. I’m really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste. They brought some really nice race cars for speedway racing.”
The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Atlanta 250 on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1.
Reserved stadium tickets for the historic 60th annual DAYTONA 500, the season-opening event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, are sold out, Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile announced today. This is the third consecutive year that the DAYTONA 500 has sold out.
“Once again, race fans have shown their loyalty to ‘The Great American Race’ and we thank them for that,” Wile said. “Our fans recognize there is nothing like the experience of attending a DAYTONA 500 in the world’s only motorsports stadium. We will strive to make it a memorable day for each and every guest.”
Premium hospitality, infield admissions and UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race access still remain for the DAYTONA 500 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP as well as through PrimeSport.com, the official ticket exchange and travel package provider of Daytona International Speedway.
This year’s DAYTONA 500 will be attended by fans representing 49 different countries and every state in the U.S.
Roush Fenway rookie driver Austin Cindric rolled off the grid 11th in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) opener at Daytona International Speedway. Unfortunately, the young driver’s (NXS) Daytona debut came to an abrupt end after his No. 60 Pirtek Ford Mustang made contact with the outside wall on lap nine after getting caught in the middle of three-wide traffic. With the damage too extensive to repair on pit road the team was forced to settle for a 40th-place finish.
“I hate it for the guys on the 60 and anybody else involved,” Cindric said. “We will move on to Atlanta. I look forward to seeing how Chase (Briscoe) and those guys do in the 60. Hopefully we have a longer race down there.”
Cindric, who advanced to the second round during Saturday morning’s qualifying session, started the race on the inside lane, but reported loose handling conditions on his Ford just a few laps into the race. Frantic pack racing in the front of the field forced the rookie driver into the middle of three-wide traffic, pulling the air off the nose of his Ford and helping to send the car into the wall.
The No. 60 will return to action next week at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Chase Briscoe will make his debut behind the wheel of the historic Ford. Cindric makes his next NXS start on March 3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Wallace Jr and "The King" Richard Petty will start the morning as live guests on Fox and Friends on Fox News Channel between 9:45 - 10:00 a.m. ET.
Wallace Jr, and his rise to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the famed No. 43, will then be the focus of a SC Featured piece on ESPN SportsCenter. The feature will air at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Finally, Wallace Jr. sits down with Kenny Wallace and NASCAR RaceDay for a fun breakfast and conversation with the Wallace's. The segment is scheduled to air just before 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX.
Wallace will drive the No. 43 Click n' Close Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in tomorrow's Daytona 500 as he begins his journey as a Sunoco Rookie of The Year contender.
FOX NASCAR Pre-Race Coverage Offers Multiple Features & Interviews, Including Danica Patrick and All Four Hendrick Motorsports Drivers17 Feb 2018
FOX Sports’ presentation of season-opening Daytona Speedweeks continues today with live coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race (2:30 PM ET on FS1) and Sunday’s DAYTONA 500 (2:30 PM ET, with live pre-race coverage beginning at 11:00 AM ET on FOX).
Mike Joy calls FOX Sports’ 15th DAYTONA 500 with analysis from Jeff Gordon, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds. Jamie Little, Regan Smith, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum cover pit road, while Chris Myers hosts network coverage alongside Michael Waltrip. Joy, McReynolds, Myers, Darrell Waltrip and Yocum were members of the original FOX NASCAR on-air team that debuted at Daytona in 2001.
Adam Alexander has the call for today’s NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race from Daytona alongside Michael Waltrip and Brad Keselowski with pit reporting by Little, Smith and Yocum. NASCAR RACEDAY - XFINITY, FS1’s XFINITY Series pre-race show, hosted by Shannon Spake and McReynolds, previews the action at 2:00 PM ET.
On Monday, Feb. 19, Kevin Harvick is in-studio on FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB (6:00 PM ET) with Alexander, Spake and McReynolds.
Below are notes and quotes regarding FOX NASCAR’s coverage of the balance of Daytona Speedweeks:
NASCAR RACEDAY: DAYTONA 500 OFFERS SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH DANICA PATRICK
For Sunday’s NASCAR RACEDAY (11:00 AM ET on FOX), Little sits down with Danica Patrick for an in-depth interview prior to the start of her final NASCAR start. Kenny Wallace chats with Bubba Wallace over breakfast in a “Breakfast with the Wallaces” feature. Also airing during NASCAR RACEDAY is: a feature on Aric Almirola’s battle back from injury and his new ride at Stewart-Haas Racing; Alan Cavanna’s look back at Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s long-sought victory in the 1998 Daytona 500; a Rachel Bonnetta live hit from a Xfinity Daytona Day watch party in Boston; a “Where’s Wallace” piece; and a War Room feature.
FOX NASCAR SUNDAY: JEFF GORDON SITS DOWN WITH ALL FOUR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS DRIVERS
Following Sunday’s pre-race coverage on NASCAR RACEDAY, FOX NASCAR SUNDAY picks up the baton at 1:00 PM ET, live on FOX. In Sunday’s show: Jeff Gordon sits down with all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers (Jimmie Johnson, Alex Bowman, William Byron and Chase Elliott); Regan Smith travels to Denver to catch up with defending champion Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn; Jamie Little chats with Danica Patrick prior to her final NASCAR start; interviews with Peyton Manning and Charlize Theron; a live Rascal Flatts performance during pre-race ceremonies; and Michael Waltrip’s “Grid Walk.”
FOX NASCAR QUOTES
FOX SPORTS: Entering your third season in the FOX NASCAR booth, what is your biggest takeaway?
“I’ve come to realize what a huge race fan I am. I love driving race cars, but the experience of being in the booth makes you realize what a fan you are of the action. No offense to the NFL, but I’m pretty biased. I don’t think there’s any experience, whether live or on TV, that’s like racing at 200 miles-per-hour inches away from one another, and we get to go inside the car and hear what’s going on with the action. That’s amazing.”
FOX SPORTS: Is it difficult to set aside relationships you have with drivers and teams when you step into the broadcast booth?
“There have been plenty of discussions about my feelings toward certain drivers. I can tell you that as many times as I have pulled for Chase Elliott to win a race, I have been equally as excited to see Ryan Blaney win his first race, because I like to see things that get everyone excited, are good for the sport and take it to the next level.”
FOX SPORTS: How do you keep the production of a NASCAR race fresh weekly when your on-air team is working with and interviewing the same drivers each week, unlike other sports?
“FOX Sports is there for every practice, qualifying session and lap of every race. We don’t miss a batting practice, a shoot-around or a Thursday walk-through. We truly get to know the drivers well, but keeping it fresh comes with the sport itself and its different venues. Each track seems to have a different twist to it, whether it’s a mile-and-a-half superspeedway or a short track. So, it does stay fresh but it allows us to dig in and get to know the drivers a bit more. The cool part about this sport is the access and ability to be able to talk to them two minutes after they get out of the car, whether they like it or not in that particular moment. The access is what’s so engaging and fun to watch in this sport, and you don’t get than in any other sport.”
--Barry Landis, FOX NASCAR race producer
FOX SPORTS: How do you make the daily rotation of Cup Series drivers work on NASCAR RACE HUB?
“It’s key to make the drivers feel comfortable. We give them a lot of feedback. These drivers are really invested in how they perform on television, and there are numerous conversations about how they are doing. Adam (Alexander) and Shannon (Spake) play a huge role in making them feel welcome. That allows us to get information from them and make them comfortable enough to share with their insights and the viewers.”
--Lindsey Mandia, NASCAR RACE HUB coordinating producer
FOX SPORTS: What is the relationship like between you guys and the Race Hub driver analysts?
“The show has a different feel every day because there are different people sitting at the table presenting different ideas. It is ever-changing, and as a result, has a different dynamic every day when we go on the air at 6:00 PM. It’s building those relationships with the drivers in the hall or the makeup room, away from the track.”
FOX SPORTS: What are the challenges of having a different driver in the NASCAR RACE HUB studio each day?
“By having fresh faces in the Hub studio every day, you get new ideas and new thought processes from every angle. That scenario creates a new energy for Shannon (Spake) and me. It’s never stale in here, and it forces us to make sure we are on our A-game. All of those are factors to the huge success of NASCAR Race Hub. We are getting the true stars of the sport in our studio on a regular basis. It’s unprecedented not only in NASCAR but across all sports programming.”
FOX Sports PR
No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet Silverado
Stage One: Sauter finished the first stage in the second position, after briefly leading for a total of seven laps, before the stage ended on lap 20. The No. 21 team pitted under caution for fuel only, lining up in the second position for the start of Stage 2.
Stage Two: The field returned to green on lap 26 and Sauter once again regained the lead on lap 27. He held onto the top spot until the stage ended on lap 42. Under the caution, Sauter brought his Allegiant Chevy to pit road for four tires and fuel. With other teams taking fuel only, Sauter returned to the track in the eighth position.
Final Stage: Sauter made his way back to the front, running in the top-five as a series of cautions occurred. He took the lead for the fourth time on lap 59, quickly followed by the fifth caution period of the race. Sauter pitted with his GMS teammates for fuel only and rejoined the field ninth. Sauter worked with teammate Justin Haley to move back into the top-three with just over 20 laps to go. The No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet moved to the front of the pack for the final time with eight laps remaining, with Sauter holding on to earn his third win at Daytona International Speedway.
- Sauter now leads the series in wins at Daytona International Speedway.
- GMS Racing scores their third consecutive win at Daytona - (2016 J. Sauter, 2017 K. Grala, 2018 J. Sauter).
- GMS Racing is now tied with Bobby Hamilton Racing (2001, 2002, 2005) for the series-most wins at Daytona.
“What a truck tonight that Allegiant Chevrolet was. We qualified well and tried to keep track position all night. We came from 10th a few different times to get to the front. I just felt so calm today; I had all the faith in my truck and my team. We were just so fast.
“After playing around in the draft in practice, I felt like if you let anyone get more than a truck length back they could get a surge to you. I think Haley did a great job not helping the 20 truck get too much. I felt like if the 20 did peak out the 24 was in the perfect position to fill that spot and he did, so having a teammate right there at the end was definitely beneficial. Justin did a great job especially there at the end. I couldn’t be more proud of him. I felt like as an organization we executed perfectly tonight with our teammates, Dalton Sergeant and Cody Coughlin. That’s fun when you can do that, execute like that and ultimately end up first and second.
“Once you have a championship you have that taste and it’s a taste you want to keep. I’m pretty pumped and feel good about our team. It’s the exact same group we had last year; they are the greatest group of guys I’ve ever been around and I think this year we’re going to continue doing what we’ve been doing. I’d be disappointed if we aren’t running for another championship in Miami.”
No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet
Stage One: Starting 12th in his first Daytona International Speedway start, Haley struggled to advance into the top-10 for the first half of Stage One. After battling three-wide for several laps Haley began to work his way forward, breaking into the top-10 for the first time on lap 11. As the field approached the Stage One conclusion, Haley got shuffled back to the 12th position. Crew chief Kevin Bellicourt brought the No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet to pit road for fuel and a chassis adjustment under caution, with Haley returning to the track to restart 10th.
Stage Two: Four laps into the start of the second stage Haley moved into the sixth position and maintained that spot until the conclusion on lap 40. Haley visited his team on pit road for four tires and fuel, lining up 12th for the restart after several trucks took fuel only.
Final Stage: Haley worked in the draft with teammate Johnny Sauter to break into the top-five as the caution waved on lap 56. As the field returned to green, the No. 24 fell back to the ninth position as the race was placed back under yellow on lap 65. Haley pitted for fuel only with his GMS teammates and rejoined the field in the 12th position. With help from Sauter, Haley took the lead on lap 82 and held his position until 10 laps to go. As others began to make moves for the lead, Haley fell back to the fifth position before regaining the second position on the final lap.
- Haley’s second-place finish in his Daytona International Speedway debut is his highest NCWTS finish to date.
“Those first few laps were a little crazy. We didn’t qualify the way we wanted and we got shuffled back there at the start. We made some great pit stops and got up toward the front, in the mix, at the end of stage two. As I was in the lead there at caution and we were going back green, I didn’t know who to pick to push me. Lagasse gave me a good push on the outside to the lead so I stuck with my gut on that one. I tried to block the runs and got shuffled back a little bit on the last lap. We were trying to work with Joe Nemechek to back up to him and try to get a run for the win, but the outside line actually had a good run and the opportunity wasn’t there. When Lagasse went up to block it Iside drafted him and took advantage of that. I thought maybe we were going to have Johnny there toward the end. Either way, I’m really glad to have Fraternal Order of Eagles onboard and happy Johnny got the win for GMS."
“You obviously want to start off at Daytona on a good foot, because it just adds to the whole team morale and the atmosphere around you. Johnny getting the win is good for GMS as a whole and we had a great run, so we’re leaving with a lot of positives. Being able to run the full season, there really isn’t a reason we shouldn’t be in the final four at the end of this year. Our mile-and-a-half stuff has been good, and we just tested Charlotte with the NT1 and got some good data, so I guess we just need to go win at Atlanta.”
No. 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevrolet Silverado
Stage One: Hooking up with GMS Racing teammate Johnny Sauter early on, Sargeant ran up front for the entirety of the first 20 laps, finishing Stage One in the third position. Coming to pit road under the stage break, the initial call from crew chief Doug Randolph was for fuel only. Unfortunately, issues with fueling occurred and Randolph made the quick call to change four tires as well, lining Sargeant up 25th for the restart on lap 26.
Stage Two: Sargeant ran in the back of the lead pack throughout Stage Two, looking to avoid any incidents. He ultimately finished Stage Two in the 15th position. Hitting pit road for fuel only, Sargeant restarted second for the Final Stage on lap 47.
Final Stage: Sargeant grabbed the lead almost immediately when the green flag flew and led two laps before being shuffled back in the pack. On lap 56, a wreck ensued collecting Sargeant. With front-end damage and flat front tires, Sargeant came to the attention of his Performance Plus Motor Oil team for repairs and right side tires. Coming back down pit road for more damage repair and left side tires, Sargeant ultimately lost a lap, relegating him to 29th on the restart on lap 62. Just three laps later, the caution came out again, allowing Sargeant to get his lap back and to come to pit road for four tires and fuel. Restarting 23rd, Sargeant battled his way back into the Top-10 with 20 laps remaining. Making a charge to the front in the closing laps, Sargeant ultimately crossed the finish line eighth in his first NCWTS start at Daytona International Speedway.
"We had a really good night in the No. 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevy. We had to overcome some adversity tonight, but that’s plate-racing. We just seemed like we were in the wrong place at the wrong time most of the night. Even though myChevy
was beat up, my GMS Racing guys worked really hard to get the No. 25 repaired and keep us in contention. My spotter, T.J. Majors, had his work cut out for him guiding me through the field, but I couldn’t have done it without his coaching. Despite the issues, this was probably one of the most fun races I’ve ever competed in. I’m ready to keep the season going and get to Atlanta (Motor Speedway).”
No. 2 JEGS.com Chevrolet Silverado
Stage One: Coughlin finished Stage One running in the 10th position. Crew chief Jerry Baxter called the No. 2 JEGS.com Chevy Silverado down pit road under the break for fuel only. Unfortunately an issue with fueling relegated Coughlin to 12th for the restart.
Stage Two: When the field went back green on lap 26, Coughlin methodically began working his way through the field, reaching fourth-place, where he ran until the end of Stage Two. Coming to pit road under caution, Coughlin received four tires and fuel, but an issue with the right front cost him valuable track position, lining him up 18th for the start of the Final Stage.
Final Stage: Working his way back into the Top-10 running order, Coughlin was caught up in an incident on lap 56. Coming to pit road multiple times for damage repair and to top off on fuel, the No. 2 JEGS.com team gave Coughlin the green-light on repairs to head back on track, restarting 14th on lap 62. Restarting 11th, Coughlin worked his way inside the Top-10, but ultimately dropped out of the pack when he felt his left rear tire go flat. However, a wreck at the front of the field simultaneously brought out the caution on lap 74. After receiving four fresh tires and a bit of damage repair, Coughlin restarted seventh for the final 13 laps. Unfortunately, Coughlin experienced another flat tire with five laps to go. He was able to come to pit road for a new left rear tire and return to the track for a 17th-place finish.
"Well, we had a good run going tonight and a really fast JEGS.com Chevrolet Silverado. We just had terrible luck. It’s hard to overcome two flat left rear tires and having to start at the tail of the field a lot due to those issues. Hopefully, we can get this luck turned around for next weekend at Atlanta (Motor Speedway).”
GMS Racing PR
Brett Moffitt’s return to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) competition came to a premature end in Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) after being involved in an incident on lap 73. His methodical run through the field brought an early end to his first outing since returning to Hattori Racing Enterprises and resulted in a 26th-place finish.
Moffitt and the AISIN Group team led by crew chief Scott Zipadelli primarily focused on single-truck runs in two practice sessions on Thursday afternoon, and turned in the 22nd-fastest lap in qualifying on Friday. Zipadelli and Moffitt employed a conservative strategy at the drop of the green flag to avoid possible calamity that often occurs at the superspeedways. Moffitt kept his AISIN Group Toyota Tundra out of harm's way, but kept touch with the lead group and was scored 25th after the race's opening stage.
Moffitt pitted for four tires and a slight chassis adjustment to aid his free handling condition and restarted in 28th on lap 26. Stage 2 was a carbon copy of Stage 1 as Moffitt kept touch with the lead draft, but stayed clear of the fray in the lead pack. That strategy would yield great dividends after being scored 18th in the stage. Zipadelli gave Moffitt a short pit stop for fuel only under the caution and leaped to third by way of the strategic pit call.
Moffitt began mixing it up with the race leaders on the lap 47 restart and ran as high as third. The Grimes, Iowa native escaped two multi-truck incidents on successive cautions as the intensity began to escalate in the later stages. While running near the top 10 on lap 73, Moffitt was collected in a multi-truck accident when the race leader suffered a cut tire, causing a chain reaction and resulted in heavy damage to the No. 16 AISIN Group Toyota. Moffitt completed 72 of 100 laps and was credited with a 26th-place finish.
Brett Moffitt Quote:
“It looked like the No. 8 truck blew a tire getting into (turn) three there on the bottom. He kind of had it down on the apron and kind of started sliding back up. At that point, I elected to go to the bottom lane, they had momentum that lap, and tried to move up a little bit and got hit from behind in the right rear and got turned into the fence. We had a really good AISIN Tundra here and it’s a shame to have it pulled off on a wrecker, but we’ll bounce back and go to Atlanta next week and try to do a little better.”
“We really didn’t have a fast truck in qualifying. That was partially due to the engine deal. We didn’t have the spec engine, which I think hurt us in single-car runs. But at that point, we fully committed to going to race setup and in the draft we actually were really good. The truck was really stable where a lot of people were sliding around a little more as we saw all night. So, I was really able to be aggressive. We were just trying to ride and bide our time and play the chess game of what’s going to be the right line at the right time. Unfortunately, someone blew a tire there and spun getting into (turn) three and got caught up in it.”