By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
AVONDALE, Arizona — It’s often said that the world of motorsports is a tight knit circle. Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at ISM Raceway is one of those instances where the inner circle comes together, not just from the competition but race fans who rallied behind one fellow NASCAR YouTuber.
Griffin Spier arrived in Phoenix to not just see the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race but getting to see his late brother PFC Tate William Spier, who served in the Marines, being remembered. His brother’s name will be on the passenger side roof rail of Brett Moffitt’s Chevrolet along with Plan B Sales owner Brent Powell’s brother Barry, who has his name on the driver’s side.
Moffitt’s primary sponsor signed up for two races, one being at the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and the other being ISM Raceway this weekend due to Veteran’s Day coming up.
Moffitt said it was really cool how everyone pulled together and have many names who have served in the military, allowing him to compete in the sport.
“The fans and a lot of veterans and their families, and everyone to get their name on our Chevy Silverado,” Moffitt said. “The truck looks great. I’ve already had a ton of people coming up to me in the garage pointing out their name and wanting pictures. That’s really special that everyone got behind it and supporting it like that. It’s cool to be a part of and cool to give back to the veterans a little bit if we can.
“Having Mr. Powell on there, that’s really cool for him. He came up to me earlier in the day and said ‘I’m glad I saw this ahead of time because I don’t know if I can hold it in if I didn’t.’ We did that to give back to Brent and his family. It’s just really special to carry their names along with a couple of hundred names on the truck bed.”
The story behind Tate’s name being on Moffitt’s No. 24 Plan B Sales Chevrolet Silverado took place on Twitter when Griffin found out that Dylan Jacobs (known as KamikazeGames on YouTube) reached out and told Griffin that Tate’s name will be on the actual truck as well as in the diecast.
One thing led to another where the NASCAR YouTube community such as eNASCAR Heat competitor Joey Stone (Sloppy_Joe_YT) helped Griffin to get him to the racetrack and see Moffitt’s truck in person.
“I guess it got a bunch of traction and then Brett picked it up. Again, emotionally I can’t believe it,” Griffin told Motorsports Tribune. “The fact that everyone was still behind my back through all of this, sometimes I feel like I’m in a dream and I just can’t believe everyone was able to come together and set this up for my brother and me. Our entire family is pleased about the entire experience.”
Griffin describes Tate as a guy that gets the job done when his mind is set on what he wanted to accomplish. Of which included serving for the Marines where he lost his life this year doing what he loved to do.
“Throughout his childhood growing up, there were little signs. You know, he would like an Army hat or watch some Army documentaries like warplanes flying,” Griffin said. “He had that mindset of going into the Marines and he did his research on it and it’s only on stuff he cares about. Like in school, there are some things that he just wasn’t good it, so he didn’t care, and his saying is ‘It is what it is.’
“So that’s how he went about it and so like with the Marines and boot camp, he did a lot of research like what it took to go into it like the emotions he’ll have to deal with it. That’s something that inspires me just going out more with like NASCAR and being more interactive with the NASCAR community. He really wanted to what he wanted, and he passed away doing what he loved to do.”
Moffitt said he gave the Spier family an opportunity to achieve a goal to get him to Phoenix and is pleased that it worked out.
“It’s really cool. It all came up on Twitter once we announced this deal,” Moffitt said. “We gave him an opportunity to achieve a goal and that’s getting here to ISM Raceway to watch the race and honor his brother. It’s really special that all worked out. Allegiant helped him out with the flights and hotels. We got him here with some hot passes, so they’ll be here tonight to see that which I think is really special.”
Griffin said that he’s grateful GMS Racing gave him an opportunity to see the truck in person and will enjoy his Friday at the mile-long circuit.
“The whole rainbow of emotions, man. This is so great of GMS to do this for us,” Griffin said. “It’s great but also a little sad because Tate is no longer with us. Honestly, we’re just here for the ride. Just going to enjoy the rest of the day and night with GMS Racing.”
During times like this, Moffitt may be racing to make the Championship 4 and get himself another shot at the title and also an owners triumph for the team, but for him to honor a much noble community like veterans is beyond humbling for the defending series champion.
“We get to do what we love because of the sacrifices that all of them have made,” Moffitt said. “It’s good to give back in any way possible and that’s what’s so special. To see everyone coming out and supporting it, it’s great and nothing to boost our liking or anything like that. It’s just to give back to them and I feel like we’ve accomplished that.”