Posted by BMR in Brett Moffitt Racing on 8/21/2013

By the time the checkered flag waved over Michigan International Speedway (MIS), Brett Moffitt, driver of the Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) No. 16 Goodyear/Tacti Toyota Tundra, had salvaged a hard-earned 17th place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series National Guard 200. MIS is a 2 mile oval with 18 degree banking and 73’ wide sweeping turns. It is NASCAR’s fastest track, providing 3 to 4 racing grooves for side-by-side action and an opportunity to run wide-open in the draft.   

The HRE Toyota was tended by ThorSport Racing Crew Chief Jeriod Prince and his ARCA Racing Series championship-leading crew. Moffitt was shown as 15th on the leader board during the first practice, lapping the 2 mile oval in 39.28 seconds at a speed of 183.29 mph. The No. 16 was scored 10th in the second practice session, logging a happy hour speed of 185.41 mph and clocking a lap at 38.83 seconds.

Photo by:  Ashleyrae Photography

During the qualifying session, Moffitt rolled off 23rd of the 32 trucks entered. He qualified in the 14th position on the outside of the 7th row at a speed of 181.40 mph and a lap time of 39.69 seconds. On this 2 mile track where aero is supreme, the trucks gained speed during practice sessions by drafting in packs, so the qualifying times that were set when each truck was on the track alone were slower than the typical practice times.

“You actually have to be able to run wide open all the way around Michigan, which means that everything on the truck has to be exactly right – the engine, horsepower, handling, and aero. If you have to lift and get out of the throttle at any point during a lap, the lap time really shows it. The driver has to be able to give the crew chief exactly the right feedback, and the crew chief has to be able to make exactly the right adjustments in response to the driver’s feedback,” Moffitt explained. “Due to the high speeds, there is very little margin for error at Michigan.” 

Early in the race, Moffitt brushed the wall, causing a tire to go down. The crew brought him into the pits, changed the tire, bent back the sheet metal in an attempt to prevent tire rub and sent him back out. Moffitt commented later on this incident, “I did not realize that the aero would be so much different going from Kentucky, which is a 1-1/2 mile track, to the bigger 2 mile track here at Michigan. They say you virtually have to be able to ‘see’ the air to use the draft. The effects of aero here are more highly magnified than anywhere else I have run. When you pull out and get a side draft here, it is like hitting a brick wall. It was aero push that made the truck so tight that I got into the wall. I had never experienced anything quite like that before, not even when we ran at Kentucky.”

The race was eventually slowed by 7 caution flags, for a total of 29 laps under yellow. A top-ten finish remained within reach for Moffitt and the No. 16 HRE Toyota most of the afternoon. With only 31 laps to go, Moffitt was lined up under caution preparing to restart in 5th. He reported to the crew that the truck “wasn’t bad”, but he was sent to the rear of the field for the restart, due to a rolled tire on pit road. 

Once again, Moffitt patiently worked his way back up through the field, and a strong finish still looked possible until Moffitt had another tire go down. It was his second cut tire of the day. The crew got the truck back out on the track only one lap down to the leaders, and Moffitt was scored for a 17th place finish. His teammates from ThorSport Racing finished in 9th and 20th positions.

“I cannot say thanks enough to HRE, the ThorSport crew, and Goodyear/Tacti for an incredible opportunity,” Moffitt stated. “They gave me a great truck that was capable of running up front, and the team never quit, even when things were not going smoothly. We learned a lot about how the trucks draft on this high speed track, and we all worked hard to make the most of the opportunity we were given  As a team, we are very happy with our performance and with what we have learned today.”

Moffitt’s next race will be on Saturday, August 24th, when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East visits Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, VA for the running of the Biscuitville 125, the first road course race event for the Series since 2010.

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: michigan international speedway , mis , brett moffitt , goodyear , tacti , toyota , tundra , camping world truck series , national guard 200 , thorsport , arca racing series championship

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