By Brian Eberly, Contributing Writer
NEWTON, Iowa —The first question on Saturday during Brett Moffitt’s media availability at Iowa Speedway was regarding his outlook and expectations for the night’s M&M’s 200.
“Beat him,” Moffitt said with a laugh and a nod towards Johnny Sauter, sitting alongside him at the podium. “I guess that is the expectation. He’s set the bar. It’s certainly the goal.”
Sauter has been on a tear in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season, winning four of the first eight races. Moffitt won the second race of 2018 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and sits in the third spot in the championship standings as the Truck Series tackles the 0.875-mile track dubbed “The Fastest Short-Track on the Planet.”
Moffitt’s hometown of Grimes, Iowa sits just 46 miles to the west of the track located in Newton. The 25-year-old driver is making his first Truck start at Iowa but has visited victory lane in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in 2011. He also made the first NASCAR XFINITY Series start of his career in 2012.
Moffitt has never finished worse than sixth in his three Truck Series starts at tracks smaller than one mile and posted a third-place finish in the lone short track race this season at Martinsville Speedway.
“We need to go execute. We’ve had speed and I feel like we could have raced with him (Sauter) but we just haven’t put the whole race together. That’s the goal for Iowa here and to win in my home state would be huge.
“To be able to race the Truck Series here is great and to finally be in a competitive truck here is an added bonus. The chance of going to victory lane, I was able to do that in the (NASCAR) K&N Pro Series here, and it’s still one of those special moments in my career. If we could add to that tonight that would be awesome.”
Last week at Texas Motor Speedway, most of Moffitt’s No. 16 Toyota was blank. While the team has sponsorship for this weekend at Iowa and next weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park, a sponsor is still being sought for the next race at Chicagoland Speedway.
“We’re certainly in a tight spot (regarding sponsorship). Certainly we’re in a great spot in the points and in a spot to compete for the championship and there’s still a few open races coming up. It’s certainly on our minds all the time and it’s something that we’re working to try to close that gap for the uncertainty on those open races.”
Moffitt’s truck is adorned with bright green logos for Saturday night with support from Destiny Homes, based in nearby Waukee, and their SMART Series Homes.
“A lot of these partners, it’s more than just Destiny Homes involved in this. We have probably, I would say 15 different companies that all work on that SMART Series project and they all donated to the cause. Some of the guys are on the truck and some of them just wanted to give to the cause. A lot of people pulled together to do this which is overwhelming for me and it’s great that they all did that and it’s great to be able to represent an Iowa company and give them some recognition. Hopefully it helps boost sales on their side too.”