By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Lap traffic is often the bane of any NASCAR driver’s existence, especially at tracks like Dover International Speedway. Friday’s KDI Office Technolgoy 200 was no different as both runner-up Matt Crafton and third-place Brett Moffitt were the most vocal about the competition in Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
All throughout the 200-lap race, drivers were complaining over the radio about back markers getting in the way or in Moffitt’s case, competitors not really meeting minimum speed. As the bottom results show, the last three trucks running finished over 10 laps behind race winner Zane Smith.
Those ended up being Jennifer Jo Cobb (Cobb Racing Team, -11 laps), Tyler Hill (CMI Motorsports, -12 laps) and Tim Viens (also driving for CMI, -20 laps). None of whom were involved in accidents or went to the garage.
While Moffitt’s comments during the post-race video conference wasn’t necessarily a shot towards those drivers in particular, he felt that NASCAR should really take action on back markers. Even brought up Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski’s idea of having a graduate-level system following Quin Houff’s accident at Texas Motor Speedway last month.
“Today it actually got me the lead, but it’s extremely tough. I don’t know what it takes to qualify to run in this field, but NASCAR seriously need to look into it,” said Moffitt, driver of the No. 23 Arlon Graphics Chevrolet Silverado.
“There’s guys out there that don’t know if they’re going to go bottom, middle or top. It’s not whether I know or not. They literally enter the corner not knowing what their truck is going to do. It’s dangerous at times.
“Not only for the sake of us keeping our trucks in one piece, but for the safety of wrecks. It’s going to cause a big one one day. It’s already cost me multiple race wins over the years and it’s frustrating. I don’t see timing and scoring, but I have a hard time believing that a lot of those trucks are meeting minimum speed regularly.”
Simply put, defending Truck Series champion Crafton felt lapped drivers should just stick to a single lane. Doing so, it could prevent any interference among those battling for or track position, especially when they’re in contention for the race win.
“Everybody has a right to be out there, but the biggest thing is pick a lane. Slower trucks, if you’re getting caught, run on the bottom or run on the top,” said Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Ford F-150. “It’s one of those deals where you watch them as you catch them from a straightaway away and then they change lanes when you get to them.
“You can lose so much momentum and it’s a huge deal. If you lift for that split second to figure out where they’re going, it messes you up big time.”
The Truck Series will make their next stop at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway Sunday, August 30 as there’s three regular season races remaining. Coverage begins at Noon ET on FS1 with Crafton looking for his second win of the year while Moffitt is still searching for his first.