Brett Moffitt won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Dover International Speedway in Delaware for the second year in a row, taking advantage of an engine failure that took out pole winner Max Gresham in the season finale.
Brett Moffitt at NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Dover International Speedway
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East racer Brett Moffitt
Moffitt, a developmental driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, won his second East Series race of the year and his first since the June 6 race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. It was also the fourth East Series win of his career.
Moffitt took the lead from Gresham on lap 149 and held it for the final seven laps of the race. Moffitt started the race in third and ran with the leaders for most of the race.
Darrell Wallace Jr., Moffitt's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, crashed on lap 36 and brought out the second caution period of the race. When Wallace crashed, it opened the door for Moffitt to pass him and finish second in the East Series standings.
Brett Moffitt wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Dover International Speedway in Delaware
"This is phenomenonal. The win really hasn't set in yet," the 18-year-old Moffitt said following the race on Sept. 24. "When we saw the 6 car (Wallace) up in the wall, we knew that gave us second in points, which is one position higher from last year. When that happened, then that was just time for me to go, dig hard and have fun. Once that happened we just let loose."
Gresham won the pole, but Cole Whitt, who started on the front row next to Gresham, led the first 25 laps of the race. Whitt crashed in the turn 2 wall on lap 25 and fell out of contention. He finished 26th.
Gresham took over the lead in the race and held it for the next 42 laps. He led a race-high 84 laps, but had engine trouble at the end of the race.
During a green-white-checker flag finish, Gresham's engine blew. He was leading, but had to withdraw from the race. Moffitt took the lead and went on to win.
Moffitt became the first driver with multiple East Series wins at Dover in 10 visits to the track.
Corey LaJoie finished second, his best career East Series finish. He was third at Dover in last year's East Series race.
"The second is almost a win - besides being the first loser," said the 18-year-old LaJoie. "We made lemonade out of lemons I guess you could say. Overall it was a great day because we didn't have the car and we came home second."
Ryan Truex, a developmental driver for Michael Waltrip Racing, finished third and won the East Series championship for the second year in a row. The East Series championship was decided when Truex took the green flag. He started sixth and made up ground when cars dropped out at the end of the race.
"When you win one, it's pretty tough. To go out and win two in a row with the level of competition this year with the Cup-affiliated teams and all the awesome drivers that have been coming into the series, it's been a lot tougher this year than it was last year," the 18-year-old Truex said. "It was a lot harder-fought battle through the year. Every race was a struggle. You had to be on top of your game every lap, all race, all year."
Truex won two races and finished 134 points ahead of Moffitt in the final East Series standings. He had eight top-five finishes in 10 East Series races in 2010.
Mike Greci, the crew chief for Truex, won his fourth East Series championship. He won the past two with Truex and won two with Mike Stefanik in 1997 and 1998.
"The amount of top-three finishes and top-five finishes - with no DNFs - I think is pretty remarkable," Greci said of Truex's performance in 2010. "To win one championship is incredible, and to win one race is incredible, but to come out and win five out of 20 races and I think 14 or 15 top fives is pretty remarkable."
IZOD IndyCar Series Danica Patrick, who is driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in select NASCAR Nationwide Series races, led three laps and finished sixth in her East Series debut.
Eddie McDonald finished fourth, followed by Dale Quarterly in fifth. It was Quarterly's first East Series race of the year and his first top-five finish since 2006.
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