By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
The Stratosphere 200 looked like it was going to be a battle between Brett Moffitt and Kyle Busch, until lapped traffic changed that. In two separate incidents, lapped traffic altered the outcome of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, costing Moffitt, leaving him in third, and allowing Busch to finally win at his home track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In the final run to the finish, Moffitt, Johnny Sauter, and Grant Enfinger were chasing Busch for the lead. Moffitt’s No. 16 AISIN Group Toyota Tundra was leading the challengers for the lead until they caught slower traffic. Norm Benning’s Chevrolet was markedly off the pace in the middle of the track, forcing Moffitt to take evasive action.
That wasn’t the only excursion that Moffitt had with lapped traffic. With 25 laps to go, Moffitt was lapping Myatt Snider when they came upon Michel Disdier. With a gap open on the bottom of the track, Moffitt aimed for it. However, Disdier swerved to avoid Snider and slammed into Moffitt. The damage forced Moffitt to pit sooner than planned for the final green flag pit stop.
A frustrated Moffitt had some choice words after the race,
“NASCAR needs to do something about that. It’s looking like an ARCA race with how fast we’re catching them. Not only that but they can’t stay in one lane. They’re two wide, and we’re catching them 20-30 mph faster. It’s just frustrating. We had a very good AISIN Group Tundra. Thank you TRD for the support, Shige Hattori. It’s just a bummer because once we got to the lead, I feel like we had the fastest truck out front. It’s just disappointing, racing with some idiots cost us.”
Prior to the issues with lapped traffic, Moffitt and Busch were battling for the lead since the start of the final stage. The duo swapped the lead several times before Moffitt began to pull away.
“That’s fun racing with him (Busch) because he can drive,” Moffitt laughed. “Half of them can’t. It’s fun because I respect Kyle a lot with everything he’s done. It’s fun to race door to door with him. People don’t like him coming to race in the Truck Series, but I love because being able to run with him there and learn some stuff off him is really good for my career. It helps me out, so it’s a lot of fun.”
The third-place finish is Moffitt’s second top-five in two races. It also moves him up to second in the Championship Points Standings, 39-points behind Sauter.
Now Moffitt, Hattori, and the entire No. 16 team will have to wait for a second chance at victory lane. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action March 24 at Martinsville Speedway for the Alpha Energy Solutions 250.