Posted by BMR in Brett Moffitt Racing on 9/22/2013

Brett Moffitt, driver of the Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) No. 11 NISCO Toyota Camry, arrived in Loudon, New Hampshire for the North American Power 100 in second place in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season point standings. He was faced with a 40 point deficit to the point leader and had only a 13 point cushion over the third place driver. Moffitt and the No. 11 HRE Toyota team waged a hard-fought two-day battle against a very ill-handling race car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). Still, Moffitt left NHMS with his point deficit cut to 23 and with a more comfortable 32 point cushion over the third place driver in the standings.

Not long after the team unloaded at the 1.058 mile asphalt oval known as “The Magic Mile’, it became apparent that the car lacked speed and was probably not a top 10 car. Out of a field of 31 entries, Moffitt’s practice speed of 124.977 (30.476 seconds) put him into 20th place. He did not attempt a mock qualifying run, and after practice had ended, Moffitt’s Twitter account described the team as “struggling, but still hoping to find something that will help.”


HRE No. 11 Toyota Camry Team taking car through tech

When the Series last stopped at NHMS, Moffitt had been the 2012 pole sitter, laying down a lap at 128.467 mph, which was almost a full mile per hour faster than the quickest practice time recorded by any of the competitors this year, but Moffitt’s racecar did not have that kind of speed in it this time. Moffitt qualified in 8th position at a speed of 126.9 mph (30.012 seconds), giving him a starting position on the outside of row 4.


Pre-race talk with Gray Gaulding

The No. 11 NISCO Toyota was strong at the start and on each subsequent restart, but it was not strong enough to make passes at speed. Moffitt was still holding his 8th place position when the first caution flag flew for an engine that erupted in flames on the back stretch. Moffitt quickly gained one spot on the restart, capturing 7th position, and he began to set up the next car for a pass to take 6th.

The second yellow of the night waved on lap 27 when another engine expired, this time on the front stretch. Almost immediately after the restart, a third caution flag was thrown for a huge pile-up that involved the point leader and most of the front of the field. Moffitt was able to thread his way through the melee without sustaining any damage to the No. 11, and NASCAR quickly threw the red flag to allow for track clean up.

After all of the fallout from the latest accident, Moffitt found himself in the 5th position for the restart, and with the car still strong on restarts, he quickly moved up to the 4th position. Almost immediately, the new leader slammed the wall when a tire went down, and NASCAR elected to call lap 45 the “half-way point” and bring the teams to pit road while track clean up continued. Teams were given a 10 minute break to make needed adjustments. The tire change rule for the race was two tires, any position. Under the break, Moffitt was shown in the 3rd position. The team’s stated goal was to finish as high as possible and cut the point deficit as much as they could with the point leader out of the race.


In the pits at the half way break

Hopes of a strong finish dimmed when the car quickly faded after the restart. By the time the fifth caution of the night was displayed, Moffitt was struggling to hang onto 7th place, and the opportunity to make up any ground in the point standings was quickly slipping away. Moffitt lost 3 more positions in one lap, so under the next caution, the team brought him into the pits for additional adjustments. At that point, he had slipped all the way back to 11th.  Moffitt came out of the pits in 17th place, with only 21 cars left in the race and with all of them still on the lead lap. The adjustments made by the crew freed the car up enough that by the time the 8th caution flag of the night was displayed for a multicar incident on the front stretch, Moffitt was already up to the 13th position. By lap 90, he was rapidly closing on 10th. 

The final yellow flag of the night flew on Lap 98, with Moffitt again running in the top 10. A car in the wall on the backstretch left a trail of fluid which required a lengthy clean up, setting up a green-white-checkered finish in overtime. The restart on lap 103 was a very slow one, with cars bouncing off each other four-wide, but the race stayed green. When the checkered flag finally waved, Moffitt had fought his way back to 7th place. He had used finesse and experience to come through multiple incidents on the track unscathed and to bring an ill-handling racecar home for a strong finish. On the final restart, with only the green-white-checker laps to work with, Moffitt had surged from 10th to 7th. Because the race team and the driver refused to give up, they are still in the championship point battle.

“We are still in it to win it!” exclaimed Moffitt during the team debriefing. “The mathematical odds are against us, but there are still 2 races to run, and anything can happen. We have had more than our share of bad luck this year, but tonight when the point leader had his own misfortune, we were able to hold on and bring home a solid finish. For us, the championship race isn’t over unless it becomes mathematically impossible, and that is certainly not the case yet tonight. We will go on to Dover next Friday and take momentum with us. Thanks to NISCO for their support and to the No. 11 HRE Toyota team for not having any ‘quit’ in them. We fought for it right down to the checkered flag.”


Moffitt addresses fans at recent Race Fan Rally

The North American Power 100 will air on Fox Sports 1 on Friday, October 4th. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will race in the Drive Sober 150 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware on Friday, September 27th.

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: nhms , new hampshire motor speedway , north american power 100 , hattori racing enterprises , hre , nisco , nascar , k&n east , pro series east

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