Posted by BMR in Brett Moffitt Racing on 9/26/2012

Brett Moffitt and the Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) #11 Toyota team headed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in Loudon, NH for the 11th race of the 2012 season, taking with them a 20 point lead in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship point standings.  Thanks to Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) and Travis Pastrana, Moffitt was able to bring the same car he drove to Victory Lane at NHMS in 2011.  The #11 HRE team hauled the car to the “Magic Mile” and crewed it, so the weekend’s racing was genuinely a joint endeavor by the two teams. 

In addition to being the defending race winner and having 2 previous pole awards at NHMS, Moffitt also brought a string of 5 consecutive top-five finishes to Loudon, where 40 cars attempted to qualify for the 36 positions on the starting grid in the G-Oil 100.  The entries represented 15 states and 5 foreign countries.

Moffitt and the #11 Nitro Circus The Movie 3D Toyota were 3rd on the speed charts after practice, with a speed of 29.981 seconds (127.040 mph).  When it came time to qualify, Moffitt got up on the wheel and laid down a lap of 29.648 seconds (128.467 mph) to capture his 4th Coors 21 Means 21 pole award of the 2012 season, setting a new track qualifying record in the process.  Moffitt has been on the pole in 4 of the series’ 11 races to date.  This was Moffitt’s 3rd pole at the “Magic Mile” and the 8th of his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East career.

“The car was fast all through practice,” Moffitt commented.  “We knew we had a shot at the pole.  I went out early, had two solid laps, and the time held up.”

NHMS, the largest track on the circuit at 1.058 miles, is always one of Moffitt’s favorites.  “I just love the bigger tracks we get to race – here, Iowa, and Dover.  I look forward to them every year, have a lot of fun with them, and have adapted well to them,” Moffitt stated. 

The race began with Moffitt and the #11 Nitro Circus The Movie 3D Toyota leading from the pole.  By lap 8, Moffitt had put a 1.304 second lead on the 2nd place car.  By lap 19, Moffitt had stretched the lead to 2.596 seconds at the line, and by lap 20, he had caught the tail of the field.  The 3rd caution flag of the day came out on lap 48 for a 2 car incident in turn 4, and this caution turned into the scheduled midway break.  The #11 HRE team added some tape and ½ lb. of air pressure before returning to the track. 

After dominating the early stages of the race, Moffitt continued to lead until lap 63.  Following the midway break, Moffitt had begun to comment that the car had gotten extremely loose, and he feared he had a rear tire going down.  He had fellow drivers look at it under caution, but it was a slow leak, and according to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East rule book, a tire may not be changed unless it is flat on the rim, which Moffitt’s was not.  As the tire pressure dropped, Moffitt continued to lose positions.   Apparently the tire had picked up debris that punctured it, causing the handle to go away not long after the mid-race restart.   

“The car got bad loose,” Moffitt explained later.  “It definitely felt like a flat tire, but other drivers said it wasn’t flat.  I really had my hands full the last part of the race, and I knew something major was wrong with the car.  It had been so good, but it got extremely loose in the corners, there was no drive off, and I couldn’t even get a decent restart.”

A multicar accident on the back stretch brought out the red flag on lap 92, while Moffitt was still holding 6th position.  The race was restarted on Lap 95, with only 5 laps remaining in the scheduled distance.  Because of the rule regarding tire changes, the HRE team could not pit, and by the time the race ended, Moffitt had fallen from 6th to 16th position.  When he pulled into the garage, the tire had only 9 pounds of air left in it.

“It was a tough weekend for HRE,” confirmed team owner Shigeaki Hattori.  “We did not have the finishes we hoped for, but we are still in the point lead with the #11 car, and we look forward to Dover next weekend.”

Moffitt again expressed his sincere appreciation to MWR and Travis Pastrana for making this race possible.  “We had a really good car, as we always do when we come here.  MWR put together and gave me the car I won with last year to bring back to this race.  The car was just amazing until we picked up debris in the tire.  I want to thank Ty Norris and Travis Pastrana for helping me and Dave McCarty (crew chief) and the guys at HRE for tuning on it and making it fast.”

After leading 62 of 100 laps, the 16th place finish left Moffitt with only a slim 3 point lead in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship point standings.  He will take that lead to Dover International Speedway in Dover, DE, for the American Real TV 150 on Friday, September 28th, where Moffitt is the only driver in series history to record multiple wins at the “Monster Mile”, so the #11 HRE Toyota team heads to Dover with a great deal of confidence.

The G-Oil 100 will air on Speed TV on Thursday, 9/27/12, at 3 p.m. ET.    

Voting is underway 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 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 each one of you for your support throughout the 2012 season, and 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 , hattori racing enterprises , hre , new hampshire , motor speedway , nhms , loudon , michael waltrip , travis pastrana , dave mccarty , most popular driver of the year

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