By AMANDA VINCENT
Brett Moffitt, who ended the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as driver of the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports, is the 2015 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year, NASCAR announced after the Ford EcoBoost 400 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He was tops in a rookie class that included Matt DiBenedetto and Jeb Burton.
At the beginning of the season, Moffitt didn’t expect to have a ride for more than one race, planning to drive Michael Waltrip Racing’s No. 55 Toyota at Altanta Motor Speedway in the second race of the season. Car co-owner Michael Waltrip drove the car in the season-opening Daytona 500 and the car’s then-regular driver, Brian Vickers, was set to return to the driver’s seat for the third race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I really can’t thank the folks at Michael Waltrip Racing enough – Ty Norris and Michael – for employing me and giving me the opportunity to at least test Cup cars, which is what I was doing (last year), and that led to more opportunities and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Moffitt said, as quoted by the Des Moines Register.
Vickers did return, but his return was short-lived, as his health issues continued. Moffitt, then, continued behind the wheel of the No. 55 until David Ragan begame available. Ragan left Front Row Motorsports before the Atlanta race to fill-in for the injured Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, but when Busch returned, instead of returning to FRM, Ragan moved over to MWR to finish out the year in the No. 55. Moffitt wasn’t out of a ride for the remainder of 2015, though. Instead, he moved over to Ragan’s old ride at Front Row.
“I’m surrounded by a lot of optimistic people, but I’m kind of a realist,” Moffitt said. “So when I was sitting on my couch last December/October area, I had no clue what I was going to do. I had raced the (K&N) East Series for five years and had one Xfinity start that went well, and I thought that was going to take off to something and it just didn’t.”
By season’s end, Moffitt had competed in 31 of the 36 points-paying races of the 2015 Sprint Cup schedule. He posted one top-10 finish, an eighth-place showing in his first race of the year at Atlanta.
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