SPARTA, Ky. – Brett Moffitt made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in the No. 13 AISIN / Central Motor Wheel Toyota Tundra Thursday night, with a 14th-place finish in the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
Moffitt put his ThorSport Racing crew to the ultimate test as, after battling a tight-handling truck through two practice sessions, he went out to qualify for the first time on a 1.5-mile speedway with a truck that had been adjusted to a “looser” handling package.
Moffitt crashed on his green-flag lap coming off Turn 2 and ThorSport immediately pulled teammate Johnny Sauter’s backup truck out of its hauler. All three ThorSport teams pitched-in and Moffitt went to the grid in 36th with a renumbered, re-decaled Tundra.
“I definitely learned what not to do in qualifying,” Moffitt said. “I got that down and hopefully that never happens again. We had to unload that backup truck and came just get as close as we could, (getting it ready) before the race.
“Hats off to the guys — all three of the ThorSport teams came over to help us get it together — so thanks to all of them.”
In the race Moffitt quickly pulled up into the top 20 and remained there for 150 laps, gaining invaluable experience.
“I learned a lot,” Moffitt, who had never raced on a track larger than a mile in his stock-car career, said. “These things are really aero-dependent so it’s a big learning curve when you come to a big mile-and-a-half because it’s all about the air.”
Moffitt started the day off in the first of two practice sessions finishing 16th with a time of 31.649 seconds, an average speed of 170.622 mph.
“The truck was too tight for what I like,” Moffitt said.
Crew chief Jeriod Prince, his crew and Moffitt — supported by Hattori Racing Enterprises’ Dave McCarty and Randy Goss, who work on Moffitt’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East team — worked on getting the truck’s handling to where Moffitt felt the most comfortable before heading back on track for the second practice of the afternoon.
“The truck’s handling was better than before,” Moffitt said. “And even though it was still tight we were heading in the right direction.”
Moffitt ended “Happy Hour” in 20th, .5 seconds off the fastest driver in the second practice, Cale Gale, but with Moffitt’s fastest lap of the day, 31.373 seconds, 172.123 mph.
By lap 10 of the race Moffitt was running 24th. During the first caution of the night Moffitt brought the No. 13 Toyota Tundra to pit road where the crew made some adjustments after receiving feedback from the driver that the car was “really loose getting into the corners” and gained four positions existing pit road, putting him in 20that the restart
Moffitt continued to gain positions throughout the night, resulting in the solid 14th-place finish. Overall it was a good night but it left Moffitt, who’s currently second in the K&N Pro Series East championship halfway through that season, craving more.
“It was not the finish I wanted,” Moffitt said. “But we’ll take it. I’ve learned a lot (Friday) night and look forward to getting back in the seat at Michigan.”
Moffitt is scheduled to race in his next Camping World Truck Series race in Michigan with Hattori Racing in August.
“Overall, it was a good experience,” Moffitt said. “I just wish we would have ended up better than we were. Thank you to (team owner) Duke Thorson for the opportunity (and) I’m just hoping I can get in some more of these (Truck races).”
The Truck Series next races in Iowa, Moffitt’s home track, where he finished ninth last season in his lone NASCAR Nationwide Series start. The Iowa Truck race is scheduled July 13.
-ThorSport Racing PR