Posted by BMR in Brett Moffitt Racing on 10/28/2013

Brett Moffitt, driver of the Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) No. 11 Kobe Toyopet Toyota owned by Shigeaki Hattori, was within just 5 points of the leader in the season point standings when the team rolled into Braselton, Georgia. While they unloaded, they were confident that Crew Chief Dave McCarty and the team had brought a strong entry to the final race of the season at Road Atlanta.

The first issue that arose was an outburst from Mother Nature. Persistent rain washed out all on-track activities on Thursday, eliminating the practice and qualifying sessions. On Friday morning, the track dried slowly, and time constraints eventually allowed only one very short practice session for the teams to do a quick shake-down of the cars before the green flag waved. Moffitt made his way around the 2.54 mile road course in 87.896 seconds at an average speed of 104.032 mph, clocking the 5th quickest practice lap in the field of 25 entries.

As the teams debriefed following the short practice, Moffitt congratulated the crew on putting a great set-up under the car, and he assured them, “We’ve got this!” The team’s spirits and confidence were high, and they fully expected to be in contention all day, not just for the win, but for the season championship as well. Moffitt’s statistics are second to none.  He had finished in the top 10 in all 4 of his previous road course starts, including 3 podium finishes.

Brett Moffitt Pre-Race Championship

Pre-race concentration (Photo by Speed51.com)

Because qualifying had been rained out, the starting field was set by the NASCAR rule book according to points, which placed Moffitt on the outside of the front row for the drop of the green flag. Almost as quickly as the green flag waved, the only caution flag of the entire event was displayed for a single car incident. When the race went back to green, Moffitt continued to run in second position, still nose-to-tail with the leader. On lap 7, Moffitt was suddenly off the pace, and he began making his way to pit road.  By lap 8, he was behind the wall with the hood up, and by lap 9, the crew was taking the transmission out of the car.

Brett Moffitt Car

The team hard at work behind the wall (Photo by Speed51.com)

It was soon announced that Moffitt was out of the race with transmission failure. The input shaft had broken while going down the back stretch.

Brett Moffitt Transmission

Broken Input Shaft (Photo by Speed51.com)

Within the span of only 7 laps, the team went from being legitimate championship contenders to being mere spectators, while the race and the drama of the season championship battle unfolded around them.  Moffitt eventually finished 24th in the race, but with enough cushion over his remaining competitors that he held onto the runner-up position in the championship point standings for the 2013 season.

Because of Moffitt’s strong and consistent performance for each organization he has been affiliated with, he has been in the championship hunt every year for each of the past 5 years. 2013 was his 5th consecutive near miss. Moffitt’s consistency, coupled with his late season disappointments, has led to his record being compared to the record of Mark Martin in the Sprint Cup Series. Both drivers are always solid, always dependable, and consistently at the front of the pack, but neither man has found himself in a position as of yet to partner his immense talent with end-of-the-season good fortune in order to claim a NASCAR championship.

Moffitt remains the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East active series wins leader with 9, while his next closest competitor has 6 wins. He leads the all-time pole statistics with 10 over his nearest competition, who has only 4. Moffitt has 33 top fives and 44 top tens.  He has led an astonishing 1,809 laps in the series, and he remains “Mr. Consistency”, as he brings home another second place finish in the season ending point battle.

Moffitt will continue to test for Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) and for Toyota Racing Development (TRD). “I am very blessed to have those opportunities,” stated Moffitt. “This has been a week with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Racing with the Cup guys at Charlotte during our NASCAR test while I stood in for Brian Vickers was one of the highlights of my entire career to date. I spent the day testing aerodynamic packages and racing with Cup drivers like Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Trevor Bayne, Jamie McMurray, and Jeff Burton,” Moffitt explained. “I had never been to a place as fast as Charlotte. You’re carrying so much speed through the corners. At the end of the straightaway you’re running over 200 mph. Everything was different than I had experienced in the past, and I had only an hour to learn it before they put me out there around the other cars. You are on a fine line between being extremely fast and being wrecked.”

Moffitt won two of the 15- to 20-lap races run that day, and he drove from the back of the pack to finish second in another, finishing ahead of the reigning NASCAR champion, Brad Keselowski, twice. “That was huge!” Moffitt exclaimed.  “So many people were watching and so many high-ups in companies were watching in race teams. I also got a ton of support on Twitter.” 

One of Moffitt’s Twitter endorsements came from Rodney Childers, who will be Kevin Harvick’s crew chief in the Cup Series next year. “I hope @BrettMoffitt11 has impressed a few people today testing somewhere he had never made a lap at.  Does a good job,” Childers tweeted.

“The results validated the fact that we belong here and have the ability to compete at the highest level,” explained Moffitt. “The input shaft failure today was an enormous disappointment for all of us and one of the worst experiences of my racing career. We will never know whether we could have won the race or the season championship, if the transmission had not failed. What we do know is that we have every right to be proud of the season we had and the successes we achieved together. I want to thank Shigeaki Hattori, Toyota, all of our sponsors, Dave McCarty, and our entire crew for everything they did to make the season possible.”

NASCAR will honor its touring series champions in the Grand Ballroom of the Charlotte, NC, Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Saturday, December 14th.

In the meantime, Moffitt and his representatives will continue through the off-season to seek full time sponsorship for a NASCAR Camping World Series truck in the 2014 season. As soon as additional information becomes available, it will be posted on the Moffitt Racing website, his Facebook page, and Twitter page.

Reminder -- 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 for their favorite driver daily from now through November 15th when the balloting closes. Several fans have had difficulty getting their daily votes counted by the website. We have reported the issue to NASCAR’s tech support and hope they can resolve it soon. Please give the link below another try.  Brett really appreciates and thanks you for your support!

To vote, go to:
http://hometracks.nascar.com/2013_Most-Popular-Driver_Poll_NKNPS-East
(Twitter hashtag:  #KNEast)

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 the track and off, 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.

Graphics by:
RE PHOTO GRAPHICS
Roy M. Evans
rmevans@mchsi.com
National Association of Photoshop
Professionals

 

Tags: nascar , k&n pro series east , championship , road atlanta , hattori , transmission

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