Posted by BMR in Brett Moffitt Racing on 11/9/2012

Brett Moffitt and the #11 Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) Chiba Toyopet Toyota team went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in the space of one lap.  The 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East racing season ended with mangled metal and profound disappointment for Moffitt and the #11 team, even though they starred in almost every race on the 2012 schedule, from the drop of the first green flag of spring to the final checkers that closed the season.  Moffitt led laps in 10 of the 14 events on the East Series schedule, amassing an astounding total of 783 laps led during 2012.  The #11 was leading the field during a full 40% of all laps run this year by the K&N Pro Series East.  No other team even came close to achieving that level of consistency.

Saturday, November 3rd, was the grand finale of the 2012 season at Rockingham Speedway in Rockingham, NC with the running of the Inaugural Classic 3 Championship weekend presented by RCR Racing Museum.  Crew Chief Dave McCarty and the team were still in the hunt for the championship, and they prepared another strong car for the famed one-mile asphalt oval.  Moffitt, the most accomplished active driver in the Series on tracks longer than .75 miles, began the weekend only 10 points out of the lead.

Moffitt clocked the fastest time in the final practice session with a lap of 24.663 seconds (145.968 mph), and he qualified 5th quickest with a lap of 24.698 seconds (145.761 mph), giving him a starting position inside row 3.

When NASCAR threw the competition caution for the midway break at lap 51, Moffitt was still conservatively holding onto the 5th position and trying to stay out of trouble, but in the last half of the race, he began to move up.  By lap 52, he was running 2nd, where he continued to ride until lap 84, when he took the lead.  Moffitt almost immediately stretched his lead to 1.110 seconds, and by lap 91, one of NASCAR’s commentators stated, “Moffitt is running away from the field.” 

Although his car had tightened up considerably and the distance between Moffitt and his competitors had diminished as the laps wound down, Moffitt was still leading when the field took the white flag.  Had he been able to complete the last lap, and had the race finished as they were running at that time, Moffitt would have won the season championship by a tiebreaker over Kyle Larson.  But, it was not meant to be. 

A rookie who had entered the season finale and was running his very first race in the East Series was probably unaware that when a season championship is on the line in the upper echelons of NASCAR, competitors who are not part of the championship battle usually make every reasonable attempt to avoid wrecking the championship contenders, particularly in the closing laps of the final race of the season.  The intent is to allow the actual title contenders to settle the championship between themselves.  Unfortunately in this case, that scenario was not allowed to play out.

Moffitt’s car snapped loose coming out of the corner on the final circuit, and he had to chase it up the track.  The rookie was there, and even with the championship on the line and only one-half of one lap left in the season, he wasn’t lifting.  Although the contact was not intentional, the rookie got together with Moffitt on the backstretch and went on to win the race, denying Moffitt and the #11 team the championship they had worked for all year.  While the rookie was coming around to take the checkered flag, Moffitt was spinning through the grass.  He eventually finished 1 lap down in 21st place, which dropped him to 3rd in the season point standings.  By the time the smoke had cleared, Moffitt’s 2012 season and his shot at the championship were both gone.  He finished one-half mile short of wearing the crown. 

Moffitt offered his congratulations to Kyle Larson on winning the championship commenting, “Congratulations to Kyle Larson on an awesome year!  He is a great competitor, and I wish him all the best.”

HRE’s Facebook page conveyed the team’s disappointment.  “Heart breaking day at the track for HRE and Brett Moffitt.  Leading the race and the championship points standings, Moffitt was involved in a wreck on the last lap at Rockingham, denying him and the team the win and the Championship.”

After the dust had settled, Moffitt stated, “This year was full of triumphs, as well as heartbreak, and the success we enjoyed was made possible by the contributions of some incredibly great people.  To name just a few, I want to thank HRE team owner Shigeaki Hattori for putting the team together, our General Manager Andy Santerre for believing in me and making me a part of it, Sue Santerre for keeping the operation functioning on a daily basis, Crew Chief Dave McCarty for preparing the car so well every week that we always had a chance to be in Victory Lane, and the entire #11 HRE Toyota team for their hard work at the shop and in the pits.  We led laps in 10 of the 14 events this season, so I am very proud of my team and all the effort they put in to make this season successful.  We also owe a debt of thanks to Michael Waltrip Racing and Travis Pastrana for giving us a hand late in the season when our own resources were stretched too thin and enabling us to complete the full season.  We can not thank all of our sponsors enough.  We could not have done it without them, and I also want to thank my parents for making the season possible for me.  I wish we could have brought the championship trophy home for all of them, because they really deserve recognition for what they accomplished this year.”

During the off-season, Moffitt will continue to test Sprint Cup cars for Michael Waltrip Racing and will keep you updated on his activities via Twitter, Facebook and his website.


You can still cast your votes for NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver of the Year Award in each touring series.  Fans may vote once per day from each computer or IP address, and you are encouraged to vote daily through November 18th.
To vote, go to:
http://www.nascar.com/news/120817/2012-mpd-kn-east/index.html
(Twitter hashtag:  #KNEast)

Winners will be honored at the NASCAR Night of Champions Awards on Saturday, December 8th at the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Brett thanks you, his friends and fans, for your support throughout the 2012 season.  He would really appreciate your votes!


For additional information, and to follow Moffitt’s racing career, log on at: www.brettmoffittracing.com.  For information about Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE), log on at www.hre.us.com.  To stay up to date with all of Moffitt’s news, both on and off the track, follow him on Facebook at Brett Moffitt Racing or Twitter @BrettMoffitt11.  For information on sponsorship opportunities with Brett Moffitt Racing, contact Dick Moffitt at: 515.202.2310 or rmoffitt@destinyhomesusa.com.
 

 

Tags: brett moffitt , championship , chiba toyopet , nascar , kyle larson , michael waltrip racing

« Back