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Brett Moffitt Scores First Truck Series Win Of The Season

Race Winner Ross Chastain Disqualified at Iowa Speedway
Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Brett Moffitt

Brett Moffitt shed his race suit. He simmered silently in street clothes, sipped on a beer, and stewed over what seemed to be a missed opportunity at his home state track.

Then strange, but welcomed news arrived — and that brew tasted somewhat sweet rather than extremely bitter.

Ross Chastain's No. 44 truck, which he apparently wheeled to a much-needed victory, had failed post-race inspection because of being too low in the front.

Suddenly, a sense of second-place dejection transformed into mild celebration, as Moffitt repeated as the official race winner of Sunday's NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series M&M's 200 race at Iowa Speedway.

"Obviously I was very disappointed," said Moffitt, the defending series champ who grew up in nearby Grimes, Iowa.

"It's a big change of emotions — and obviously this is not the way I want to win it. As a driver, I still know I got beat on the track, which is frustrating. But back in the beginning of the year when NASCAR implemented this new system, it was to clear up the Tuesday disqualifications and the encumbered wins and let the fans know and everybody else know who actually won the race. I'd still rather take the checkered and be the first one to it, but I'll take a win any way I can get it."

Ben Rhodes took second and Harrison Burton, Grant Enfinger and Stewart Friesen completed the top five.

Moffitt's win cemented his spot in the series playoffs. It also earned his team $50,000 for winning the second stage of the Triple Truck Challenge, while giving him a sunny Father's Day ending on what had seemed to be a deeply disappointing afternoon.

"I was halfway to the airport," Moffitt said. "I was already changed in the motor home drinking some beers and headed to the airport and mad as hell. I didn't know and then the team called me and said, 'Head back this way.' So obviously there was an issue, but I think for the integrity of the sport, it's the right thing to do. Obviously I came out on the good end of it. Obviously if I were in Ross's shoes, I probably wouldn't be too thrilled about it, but it is what it is."

That's an odd, unexpected victory — and a sweeping change of emotions for the driver of the No. 24 Destiny Homes Smart Series Chevrolet.

"I went from drinking my sorrows away to being happy," Moffitt quipped.

Chastain had dominated the final 141 laps. He declared for Xfinity Series points earlier this season, but shifted to chasing the Truck Series playoffs this month and was giddy about doing the "hard part" — winning a race — as accruing enough points to be in the top-20 would almost certainly happen.

But instead of being one step closer to qualifying for the playoffs, he lost ground and finished last.

"Basically we have a procedure and rules in place, trucks are restricted on their ride heights, the front and the rear of the vehicles," said NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Managing Director Brad Moran, who spoke to media to explain the decision.

"Unfortunately the 44 (truck) was low on the front — extremely low. We have a process of what happens at that point. They do get an opportunity to roll around. They put fuel in the vehicle. They put air the tires."

Then, Moran added, officials wait at least 5-10 minutes to inspect the car again, but that re-inspection failed to help Chastain's team. "Unfortunately, the 44 did not rise on the front at all," Moran said.

Moran said, per the rulebook, the team is allowed to appeal the decision and the process would be expedited. The No. 44's team must indicate by noon ET Monday if it plans to appeal.

The jaw-dropping post-race development was preceded by a dramatic on-track clash. Austin Hill took exception to contact from Johnny Sauter and responded with a push to Sauter, which sent his No. 13 into the wall.

Sauter did not pit. Instead, as Hill wheeled his No. 16 ARCO National Construction Toyota back around the track, Sauter retaliated, using his No. 13 Tenda Products Ford to spin out Hill.

The incident ended Sauter's day. Hill recovered to claim 13th. The shared animosity is likely to simmer long past this weekend.

"If he wants to come talk to me about it he can," Hill said after the race. "But there won't be nice words."

Moffitt wasn't muttering "nice words" after the race, either, until his phone buzzed and he smiled as the surprise winner.

"It's a rollercoaster of emotions," Moffitt said. "I've been through that a lot in my career and thankfully it worked out in my favor for once."

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make laps Status
1 6 24 Brett Moffitt Destiny Homes Smart Series Chevrolet 200 Running
2 7 99 Ben Rhodes Carolina Nut Ford 200 Running
3 10 18 Harrison Burton # Morton Buildings Toyota 200 Running
4 2 98 Grant Enfinger ProtectTheHarvest.com Ford 200 Running
5 3 52 Stewart Friesen Halmar International Chevrolet 200 Running
6 12 2 Sheldon Creed # Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet 200 Running
7 4 88 Matt Crafton Menards/Conagra Ford 200 Running
8 1 51 Chandler Smith Safelite AutoGlass Toyota 200 Running
9 13 17 Raphael Lessard ReseauDynamique.com/FRLExpress Toyota 200 Running
10 11 4 Todd Gilliland JBL/SiriusXM Toyota 200 Running
11 15 30 Brennan Poole Bad Boy Mowers Toyota 200 Running
12 9 16 Austin Hill ARCO National Construction Toyota 200 Running
13 5 45 Kyle Benjamin Kanga Chevrolet 199 Running
14 16 22 Austin Wayne Self GOTEXAN/ICEBOX HelmetCoolers Chevrolet 199 Running
15 26 46 Riley Herbst Monster Energy/Advance Auto Parts Toyota 199 Running
16 18 20 Spencer Boyd TRQ Auto Parts Chevrolet 198 Running
17 23 54 Natalie Decker # N29 Technologies LLC Toyota 198 Running
18 17 3 Jordan Anderson Lucas Oil Chevrolet 198 Running
19 14 2 Tyler Dippel # Jersry Filmmaker Chevrolet 197 Running
20 22 12 Gus Dean # OverkillRV.com Chevrolet 197 Running
21 24 34 Mason Massey Hicklin Garage Doors Chevrolet 196 Running
22 25 97 Jesse Little Skuttle Tight Ford 194 Running
23 21 33 CJ McLaughlin Sci Aps Chevrolet 189 Running
24 29 6 Norm Benning H & H Transport Chevrolet 186 Running
25 32 0 Jennifer Jo Cobb Driven2Honor.org Chevrolet 183 Running
26 30 56 Tyler Hill Southern Freight Services Chevrolet 179 Running
27 8 13 Johnny Sauter Tenda Products Ford 137 Parked
28 27 42 Chad Finley AutoValue/Strutmasters/XLTEngineering 68 Rear End
29 20 8 Trey Hutchens III Chevrolet 61 Brakes
30 28 10 Juan Ma Gonzalez Illux Chevrolet 40 Accident
31 31 87 Tyler Ankrum Nemco Chevrolet 17 Brakes
32 19 44 Ross Chastain TruNorth/Paul Jr Designs Chevrolet 200 Running

 

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