Brett Moffitt began the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Playoffs by recording an impressive third-place finish on Sunday afternoon at Bowmanville, Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The opening round of the seven-race playoff reached a crescendo on the last lap as Moffitt navigated his way through a wreck on the last corner and tallied his ninth top-five finish of the season. The driver of the No. 16 Don Valley North Toyota, Weins Canada Tundra sits third on the playoff grid with two races remaining in the first round, 29 points above the cut line.
Moffitt started 17th after qualifying was held in wet track conditions on Saturday evening. From the outset on Sunday afternoon, Moffitt displayed the raw speed in his No. 16 Toyota Tundra and quickly broke into the top ten by lap six. Moffitt continued his quest towards the front and advanced to sixth position to earn five points at the end of Stage 1 on lap 20. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli called for a four-tire pit stop to add fuel and make air pressure adjustments on the stage break, and Moffitt restarted ninth on lap 25 as multiple trucks elected to not pit.
Stage 2 went in similar fashion, as Moffitt was consistently one of the strongest trucks in the field and entered the top five on lap 27. The four-time race winner this season steadily posted the fastest laps as Stage 2 wore on, nearly erasing the gap with the race leader. Moffitt picked up nine critical championship points by running second at the end of Stage 2 on lap 40. As multiple trucks employed varying pit strategies behind Moffitt, he rejoined the field in 12th after making a pit stop for four tires, fuel, and air pressure changes under the caution.
The intensity ratcheted up on lap 52 with the race’s final stage restarted. Moffitt was pushed off course in Turn 5 and slipped back to 14th, but immediately recovered. Moffitt advanced through the field with a calculated aggression and quic
kly rejoined the top-five on lap 60. A caution on lap 61 set up an overtime restart shortly after he gained the fifth position. Moffitt entered the final three corners in fifth on the last lap as the two race leaders made contact ahead and spun in the final corner. Moffitt picked his way through the chaos of spinning trucks, smoke, and dirt to take the checkered flag in third position. The ninth top-five finish of the season marks his career-best NCWTS road course finish and positioned him third on the playoff grid.
After the race, Moffitt talked about the strategy behind the race and those who were instrumental in it.
“”Our race strategy, we went for stage points so we ended up restarting 10th or 12th on the final stage,” said Moffitt. “We had a really fast Don Valley North Toyota Tundra today. These guys worked really hard on it. I just wish we could have gotten back to the front a little sooner. I think we had the speed where if we got to the front, we would be able to pull away and go for a win. But, just wasn’t our day. Overall, a great points day. This place can be hard. Obviously, we saw the No. 18 not be able to finish, or not be able to finish where he should. We just tried to eliminate that option and have a good points day for the first round of the playoffs.”
Next up for Moffitt and his team, a road trip to a city that never sleeps and where gambles pay off every day. Moffitt will continue his playoff run on Friday, September 14 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the World of Westgate 200.