By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
A strategy call by crew chief Jerry Baxter handed Brett Moffitt a top-five finish at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
In the final stage of the CarShield 200, Moffitt jumped from mid-pack to the top-five. The defending Gander Outdoors Truck Series Champion had been a non-factor for much of the 200-mile race. An alternate strategy by the GMS Racing team moved the No. 24 Destiny Homes Chevrolet Silverado into the top-10 for the final restart.
With seven laps to go, Moffitt held off his teammate Sheldon Creed and Grant Enfinger for position. He also had to avoid the spinning truck of Christian Eckes on the final lap. Moffitt fought off the duo to take the checkered flag in fifth.
“It was a pretty good strategy call from where we were at,” Moffitt admitted. “Jerry and everyone did a very good job. I thought we had a lot better than we had in practice. Pretty disappointing. I don’t know if it was just going from sunshine to night time.”
Moffitt’s top-five finish seemed unlikely in the closing laps of the second stage. Mired deep in the field in 14th, his Chevrolet was down on power. Between the second and final stage, Moffitt recycled the ECU. When it powered back on, the No. 24 came back to life.
“I really thought our Silverado was stronger than that, but we salvaged a top-five out of it,” Moffitt explained. “I didn’t even think we were going to get there. We were lucky to be in the top-10 most of the race. We’ll move on and do better.”
The fifth-place finish is the sixth top-five for Moffitt this season and the 22nd of his Truck Series career.
Despite the top-five, Moffitt slips from fourth in the championship points standings to fifth. He is 69-points behind points leader Enfinger. Moffitt’s win at Iowa Speedway has him locked into the playoffs with both Austin Hill and Johnny Sauter.
Moffitt is still second in terms of Playoff Points with six. Sauter leads the category with eight despite being suspended at Gateway for an on-track retaliation under caution at Iowa.
Race winner Ross Chastain will be locked into the playoffs once he moves into the top-20 in the points standings.