NASCAR K&N Pro Series rookie Brett Moffitt won his first race of the year and Ryan Truex took over the lead in the East Series standings at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.
Brett Moffitt wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Martinsville Speedway
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Martinsville Speedway
Moffitt, a 17-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing development driver, won the rain-shortened UNOH Performance 200, taking the lead from Truex on lap 161 and staying out front for the final 14 laps of the race.
"The guys have been working really hard all season," Moffitt said after the race. "The last three races, we've been running either first or second, and have been taken out by the car behind us. That made this win even more sweet -- knowing that all our hard work paid off."
Moffitt led a race-high 36 laps in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Phoenix International Raceway in April, but finished 11th. He led for 54 laps at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Iowa Speedway, but ended up 17th after getting collected in a four-car crash.
He stayed out of trouble at Martinsville and won his first race of the season. It was the third East Series win of his career.
Truex, the reigning East Series champion, finished second and took over the lead in the East Series standings. He is eight points ahead of Darrell Wallace Jr. It was the third top-five finish in four races for Truex.
"It was a great points day," said Truex, who has yet to win an East Series race this year, "but I'd rather have the win."
He had to work his way through the field after he was relegated to the back of the pack to start the race. He missed driver introductions and had to start the race in the rear.
"That was my fault," said Truex of the penalty that dropped him back from his fourth-place qualifying spot to the rear of the field. "We had our work cut out for us. We were fast. Man, I followed Darrell up through there. Pretty much, he'd move them out of the way or get under them and I'd follow him through there. I just kept the fenders on it.
Wallace finished third after leading for 15 laps midway through the race. It was his third top-five finish of the season.
"It was a fun race," said Wallace, who earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award. "You just had to use a lot of patience. I had to work my way up through there."
Truex led a good chunk of the race, from laps 137 to 160, but Moffitt got by him on lap 161.
"I knew I was going to have to get around him," Moffitt said. "I was just hoping he'd spin his tires or I'd be able to get a little bit of an advantage. Being able to get ahead of him there was what helped us win the race."
Rookie Ryan Gifford won the pole and led the first 99 laps of the race. He battled with a faulty battery and pulled off the pace to finish 12th.
Max Gresham entered the race as the leader in the East Series standings and winner of the previous two East Series races. He had tire troubles and finished 17th at Martinsville. He dropped from first to fourth in the East Series standings.
The next NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race is at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 25.
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