Posted by BMR in Brett Moffitt Racing on 5/26/2011

Grimes, IA (May 24, 2011) – After coming within ten laps of winning last year’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race, Brett Moffitt, driver of the No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, headed to Iowa Speedway looking for redemption.  Moffitt didn’t disappoint the hometown crowd.  After qualifying on the front row, Moffitt put on a dominating performance to claim the victory in the Pork Be Inspired 175.

“It hasn’t even sunk in yet,” Moffitt said.  “This is by far the biggest win of my career to date.  We had this race circled on the calendar, and the entire MWR crew did a perfect job.  To win in front of everyone who has supported me through the years is huge.”

Moffitt first showed his speed by setting the fastest pace early in the opening practice session.  Moffitt’s crew worked on adjusting the car to handle better on the longer runs.  Despite not making an actual qualifying attempt during practice, Moffitt was able to post a time of 23.847 seconds (132.092 mph.) to earn the outside pole for the start of the race.

“We decided in practice to focus on setting the car up for longer runs, rather than searching for pole speed, knowing that it would pay dividends in the race,” Moffitt said.  “We were really happy with our speed in qualifying, because we didn’t know exactly what to expect.”

From the drop of the green flag, Moffitt began to build a gap over third place and put pressure on the leader.  After two early caution periods, Moffitt was able to mount a charge, taking the lead on lap 18, and he never looked back.

“Our main goal, once we got the lead, was to try to pace ourselves and save our equipment,” Moffitt said.  “We knew having good tires at the end of the run was going to be critical.”

Due to the longer distance of this race, it was one of the rare occasions when the crew would need to perform flawless pit stops for both fuel and tires.  After the caution flag waved on lap 87, the No. 00 team found all attention focused on them.  Entering the pits in the lead, Moffitt took four tires and fuel and came out in fifth place, but more importantly, he was the first car out of the pits with four new tires.

“Our crew performed perfect stops,” Moffitt said.  “Some teams used Nationwide pit crews for this race, but we stuck with our crew, and they did a phenomenal job.  We were smooth getting on and off pit road, and I think that helped, too.”

On the restart, Moffitt found himself in fourth place with fresh tires and 83 laps remaining.  In order to claim the win, he knew it would be critical to be patient, while working his way back into the lead.  Patience paid off as he regained the lead and began to stretch it out; however, the crew still wanted him to save his tires for the final laps.

With only 28 laps to go, the caution came out again for a single car spin, and Moffitt found himself in a repeat of last year’s event – needing to hold off all challengers on a late race restart for the win.  Thankfully, Moffitt got an excellent restart and cruised to a dominating victory by four seconds over second place.  Moffitt led a race high 138 of 175 laps.  In only three races this year, Moffitt has led 355 of 575 laps.

“I was a little worried about the late restart, especially in view of what happened last year,” Moffitt said.  “I knew, though, that we had a much better car than last year, so I was confident we could hold them off one more time.”

The win was Moffitt’s second of the year and his sixth in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.  It was the first time an Iowa driver has won at the Iowa Speedway.  The win moved Moffitt from sixth to first in the championship point standings, one point over second place.  In only four starts this season, Moffitt has already earned two wins and one second place finish.  He was well on his way to a third win when a lap car spun out in front of him, leaving him nowhere to go and taking him out of contention in South Boston.

“To regain the points lead is awesome,” Moffitt said.  “We found ourselves in a hole following South Boston, but we kept our focus.  Hopefully, we will not only keep the points lead, but can begin to stretch it out.”

The race is scheduled to be broadcast on SPEED June 2 at 6 PM ET.

The next stop on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East tour is at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC on June 4.  The .25 mile track is expected to produce an interesting and exciting race.

“We were really fast when we tested there a few weeks ago,” Moffitt said.  “I think there will be a lot of battling in the pack on this short track, so our goal is to qualify up front and try to avoid it.”

 

Tags: nascar , k&n , pro series east , michael waltrip racing , iowa speedway , pork be inspired 175 , 1st , first , victory

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