By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
The past 10 weeks for Brett Moffitt has been a roller coaster ride following an off-track leg and femur injuries, but is now ready to focus on the bigger picture which is the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
Moffitt was scheduled to run the Truck Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway until COVID-19 put the sport on hold for over two months. In that time period, he underwent surgery following a motorcross bike accident a day after everyone packed their bags and left the 1.5-mile circuit.
Despite the tough off period for not just him with his injuries, but also the entire world, he was thankful that his road to recovery went well during Sunday’s video conference.
“It was good for me to have the time off. It was a tough last 10 weeks or so for me,” said Moffitt. “The Saturday that we were supposed to race at Atlanta, I broke both my legs, both my femurs and had surgery on Sunday.
“From then, the recovery process started. I went to work really hard on getting back to where I needed to be for the doctor and NASCAR to clear me to come back racing. Obviously, I’m very fortunate for the time off lasting as long as it did and both teams that I drive for gave an opportunity to come back when we did resume racing.”
Tuesday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be the third race of the season and the first since racing resumed. It won’t be his first NASCAR race back as he already ran the Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway last Thursday.
Piloting the No. 02 FR8Auctions.com Chevrolet Camaro for Our Motorsports, Moffitt continued to provide stellar results for the once ARCA-only team as he brought home a season-high 11th place in the Totoyta 200.
Even greater for Moffit, he was in the mix of a top-10 finish a treacherous track like Darlington which he hasn’t run since the 2015 Southern 500 when he was relatively inexperienced NASCAR driver.
“Darlington was really special for me. It was cool to be behind a race car and drive,” Moffitt on his top-15 result. “There’s a lot of unknown questions going into that. Fortunately, it went well and it got me really excited for Truck racing at Charlotte.”
The 2018 Truck Series champion commented how his legs felt didn’t really cross into his mind when he was behind the wheel, but it was kind of tough for him all race long due to the aforementioned time period since last racing at the 1.366-mile circuit.
“It was kind of tough, but all race long I never thought about my legs and everything was fine. Being off two months, it kind of took me half the race to feel comfortable at Darlington,” said Moffitt. “Just because I haven’t been there for five years, but it had nothing to do with my injury. It was just not being at that race track and getting back to racing, and then feeling comfortable in that Xfinity car which I’ve never ran an Xfinity race at Darlington. That was really the bigger battle.”
Notably last October at Martinsville Speedway, Moffitt was on record saying that he’d only be racing for big teams instead of just floundering around the mid-pack at the highest level.
“I’ve been quoted in the past and I still own up to it today that I’m not going to drive cars just to drive them and say I’m in the Xfinity race,” said Moffitt. “It has to be a team I feel like that it can go out and compete. So far, Our Motorsports have proven that they can compete.”
The 27-year-old commented that working with Chris Our’s team has gone really good and it shows as he sees tremendous potential despite the three races before Darlington not reflecting the team’s capability of being competitive in such a short period of time.
“In all reality, I feel like they’re doing a very good job of bringing me competitive race cars for the budget that they have,” Moffitt on Our Motorsports. “It’s a lot of fun because we’re beating guys that we should not be beating. It’s motivation all race long to do that.
“Personally, I’m getting more experience and to get more laps out there was huge. To come out of there with a good 11th place finish doesn’t sound like a ton, but if you look on paper what Our Motorsports has versus what Joe Gibbs has and we beat two of their cars. It’s a pretty damn good day, so it’s a lot of fun for me and it’s just gaining experience at the end.”
Shifting gears to Charlotte, Moffitt will run both the Xfinity and Truck Series race which he’ll have his work cut out for him due to his starting position.
In both races, the luck of the draw sees Moffitt starting 22nd. It’ll be more challenging in the 134-lap Truck race when he drives the No. 23 Plan B Sales Chevrolet Silverado for GMS Racing due to the field being expanded from 32 to 40, the largest grid since the 1998 finale at Las Vegas.
A total of 47 trucks were entered, but seven weren’t allowed to race including Cup Series veteran Erik Jones because Wauters Motorsports (led by Richie Wauters, Billy Ballew and James Finch) was at the bottom of the owners points standings.
The man sitting fourth in points after two races said its satisfying seeing a large turnout, but due to where he’s starting, it has its caveats that would be exciting for the fans but tricky for the competitors.
In a perfect world, Moffitt hopes everyone acts smart so his comfort being surrounded around other drivers with little experience doesn’t become an issue.
“With the random draw, it’s a very mixed up grid compared to what we’re used to. It’s going to be a big field and a big field of quality trucks,” Moffitt on the 40-truck grid. “Obviously, I’m excited to go racing but it is a little nerve wracking looking at the grid and where we’re at. Some of the people in front of us, I don’t have all the faith in the world with. It’ll make for great entertainment, but it’ll be wild.
“We just have to be smart. I kind of took that mentality in the Xfinity race that I just need to be there at the end with the car in one piece and it’ll be a good finish. If every driver goes in there with the mentality of just being calm and get to the end. Then we’re going to have a great race. I’m not so sure they’re going to make that decision and I’m a little worried about it. Hopefully, we can make through it.”
Live coverage of the Alsco 300 at Charlotte begins Monday at 7:30 pm EST on FS1. For the Truck Series race, it’ll air live on Tuesday at 8:00 pm EST on FS1 as Moffitt will look to score his first top-10 of the season.
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