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NASCAR Truck: Brett Moffitt scores first win of 2020

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – OCTOBER 17: Brett Moffitt, driver of the #23 Concrete Supply Chevrolet, and Sheldon Creed, driver of the #2 Chevy Truck Month Chevrolet, walk the grid prior to the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Clean Harbors 200at Kansas Speedway on October 17, 2020 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

After four second-place finishes in the first 19 races of the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors truck Series season, former series champion Brett Moffitt produced his first win of the year Saturday at Kansas Speedway in race 20 — the Clean Harbors 200. Saturday’s race was the first race of the three-race round of eight in the Truck Series playoffs, so with the win, Moffitt became the first driver to claim one of the four slots in the single-race championship four in the season-finale at Phoenix Raceway next month.

Moffitt had Grant Enfinger alongside on the front row for an overtime restart Saturday, but on the final restart, one of Moffitt’s GMS Racing teammates, Sheldon Creed moved into second for an all-GMS battle for the win. Creed finished second after leading a race-high 61 laps of the race that was scheduled for a 134-lap distance but extended to 139 laps.

“We were so good and then we just didn’t keep up with it and got really loose there,” Creed said. “Man, I’m happy I could push my teammate to the lead, there, and have a shot at the win.”

GMS drivers, also including Zane Smith, dominated throughout the race. Moffitt and Smith battled for the lead after a green-flag cycle of stops completed on lap 117. The two drivers made contact, for which Moffitt accepted responsibility, that sent Smith into a spin, resulting in the fourth and final caution of the race that led to the overtime.

“Got to apologize to the 21 (Smith) for trying to block him, but we were racing hard for a championship spot,” Moffitt said. “A bad block by me. It’s my fault.”

Smith wound up 11th after leading 37 laps, second to only Creed in the laps-led category.

The only other caution of the race for an on-track incident came on lap 38 for a multi-truck incident that ended the day for playoff driver Tyler Ankrum and also involved David Gravel, Parker Kligerman, Raphael Lessard and Tanner Gray.

Another playoff driver, Ben Rhodes, was penalized two laps during the first caution for having too many crew members over the pit wall working on his truck after he dropped back through the race field in the opening laps.

Creed won both of the 30-lap stages in the first 60 laps, his first stage win coming after he took the lead on the opening lap of the race and led all laps of the stage.

Austin Hill was first off pit road after the first stage to lead laps early in the second stage. Smith took the lead on lap 47. Creed took his second stage-winning lead from his teammate on lap 54.

After leading early in stage two, Hill struggled at times through the remainder of the race after his truck sustained damage from contact with Christian Eckes late in the second stage. Hill was one of a few lead-lap drivers who pitted for two tires during the final caution and got up to third by the checkered flag.

“It was a good run for us,” Hill said. “Our Toyota Tsusho Tundra was really good before we got damage at the end of stage two. I don’t know what happened. I haven’t seen the replay or anything like that. I know we were going around a lapped truck or whatever, but I think that was a little uncalled for. It seemed like he (Eckes) just freaked out and turned right and doored me. I’ll remember that going forward, I guess. It’s good for us to rebound and get the position that we thought we should have gotten. We had a shot at winning today, but once we got the damage, our aero was just way too loose, and it just changed the truck completely. All in all, a good day for us, and we’ll go on to the next one.”

Creed led early in the final stage of the race and had teammates Smith and Moffitt behind him in second and third by lap 75. After losing the lead to Smith on lap 82, Creed lost additional positions, prompting him to start the cycle of green-flag pit stops on lap 101.

Enfinger finished fourth, and Chandler Smith rounded out the top-five. Finishing sixth through 10th were Eckes, Timothy Peters (substitute for Stewart Friesen), Matt Crafton, Derek Kraus and Trevor Bayne.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Clean Harbors 200 at Kansas Speedway:

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Posted by on October 17, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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