Brett Moffitt, driver of the No. 23 Chevrolet for GMS Racing, took home the checkered flag in Saturday’s Clean Harbors 200 at Kansas Speedway in an overtime victory following a late-race caution with two laps remaining. The win, his first of the season, locks Moffitt into the Championship 4 for a shot at the 2020 crown in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at Phoenix Raceway on November 6. For Moffitt, it will mark his third straight year in the Gander Trucks Series Championship 4.
Moffitt, the 2018 Gander Trucks Champion, stole the lead from GMS Racing teammate Zane Smith with two laps remaining. As Smith attempted to regain the lead, Moffitt threw a block that resulted in Smith spinning out, bringing out a late-race caution. The overtime restart saw another GMS battle upfront as Moffitt fended off teammate Sheldon Creed to take home his first 2020 win.
“It’s pretty incredible. Such a way to turn this season around for our 23 team,” said Moffitt from the start/finish line after the race. “I’ve got to apologize to the 21 team (Smith) for trying to block him, but we were racing hard for a championship spot and that’s what you’ve got to do.
“It’s go time in the season and we’ve had a pretty rough one on our team so it’s a lot of relief to get to victory lane and to do it in such a high pressure situation and knowing that now we’ll have a shot at racing for a championship.”
The GMS Racing trio of Moffitt, Creed and Smith combined to lead 113 of the race’s total 139 laps. Creed swept the first two stages and led a race-high 61 laps despite finishing second.
“It started off really good there. Had a really fast truck,” said Creed. “I don’t know if it was the temperature or whatever, but in that third stage we got to the lead and just got so loose. I don’t know what it was, but we got really, really free. It looked like we were going to finish fourth there, but the caution came out and we were able to pick up two spots. I’m kind of frustrated actually. The last two mile and a halfs, we win the first two stages and then finish second in the race.”
Austin Hill (3rd), Grant Enfinger (4th) and Chandler Smith (5th) rounded out the top five. Christian Eckes finished sixth, followed by series veteran Timothy Peters in seventh, defending series champion Matt Crafton in eighth, rookie Derek Kraus ninth and Trevor Bayne in tenth-place.
“I think that was our ticket to Phoenix right there,” said Smith.” It was just whoever could work through lapped traffic there towards the end. I got him (Moffitt) and pulled away a little bit. And then, he got me, he pulled a slider on me, and then I had a big run down the hill and he just darted down and hit my right front pretty hard and it just sent me.
“We shook each other’s hand and he said ‘I know you’re mad.’ Yeah, I am mad. That’s all there was to be said.”
Hailie Deegan set the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series record for the best finish by a female driver in her series debut at 16th. The previous record was held by Johanna Long at 17th at Lucas Oil Raceway in 2010.
The race saw 13 lead changes among nine drivers and four cautions for 24 laps.
Two races remain in the Gander Trucks Series Round of 8. With three spots still to be filled in Championship 4, Creed is 26 points above the cutline, followed by Hill (+19), and Smith (+7). Enfinger (-7), Crafton (-15), Ben Rhodes (-33) and Tyler Ankrum (-56) find themselves on the outside looking in.
Kansas Speedway’s fall race weekend will continue Saturday with the running of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300 at 6 pm CT (NBCSN). The race will commence the Round of 8 for the Xfinity Playoffs.
The weekend will be capped by the NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday at 1:30 pm (NBC). That race will also mark the start in the Round of 8 for the Playoffs in the Cup Series. A limited number of fans will be in attendance for the race in accordance with enhanced safety protocols and procedures to provide a safe experience. All available inventory for the race is sold out. All guests will be screened before entering the facility and must maintain six-feet of social distancing throughout the venue. Guests three years of age and older will be required to wear face coverings at all times. In addition, tailgating and coolers will not be permitted (clear bags up to 18"x18"x14" in size will be allowed). Guests with grandstand seats will be assigned a designated entry time and gate for entering the venue. Detailed fan protocols can be found at www.kansasspeedway.com/return.
Kansas Speedway PR