Story By: DAVEY SEGAL / NASCAR – WATKINS GLEN, NY – It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.
Brett Moffitt was living proof of that on Friday, as he wheeled his No. 1 Gunma Toyopet Toyota from the back to the front not once, not twice, but three times.
Moffitt was quickest in the only practice session of the weekend on Friday morning, but was forced to start the Great Outdoors RV Superstore 100 from 21st due to qualifying being rained out.
He quickly worked his way up through the field, only to spin out on Lap 4 after contact from Spencer Davis. That incident caused damage on the nose. Moffitt then worked his way back up to the lead.
Only to run into more bad luck.
“It was certainly eventful,” Moffitt admitted following his first victory in five years in the series. “We got spun early, got our left front fender ripped off early, and it was really unfortunate because our Toyopet Toyota Camry was really good. Then once we got back to the lead, we got grass in the grille and had to pit under green. I really thought our day was over, but everything just worked back out. The Camry they brought me was just unreal. We tried to mess it up in so many ways, but we just didn’t.”
Will Rodgers was one of the favorites coming into The Glen after winning this race one year ago and the last four K&N Pro Series road course events in succession. But it was an error on the penultimate lap which ultimately sealed his second-place finish.
“Man, that was a tough race for sure,” Rodgers said. “I heard with a few to go, ‘the No. 31’s coming.’ Had to put the hammer down a little bit, maintain that gap. Then that yellow came out. I think all in all it was a great race. Almost made it five in a row but happy with the four wins we’ve got in the last year on the road courses. Yeah, it hurt. But I’m thankful to be right where I am.”
“I think that if I hadn’t had slipped, he would have been there. The spotter and the Crew Chief were saying ‘get all you can get, because the No. 1 (Moffitt) is coming’ and I knew he was wicked fast.”
Scott Heckert, a two-time winner at WGI, came home third, 5.644 seconds behind Rodgers to earn his 16th top five finish of his K&N East career.
Spencer Davis and Sam Mayer rounded out the top five, while Darrell Wallace Jr., Tyler Ankrum, Ruben Garcia Jr., Harrison Burton and Ronnie Bassett Jr. completed the top 10.
Ankrum’s 11th top 10 in as many races has provided him a 45-point lead over teammate Tyler Dippel with four races remaining, and 84 over third-place Ronnie Bassett Jr.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will take two weeks off before heading to Monaco Gateway Motorsports Park for the Gateway Classic presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame on Friday, August 24, the second of two combination races between the K&N East and West Series.
The Great Outdoors RV Superstore 100 will air on Wednesday, August 8 at 6 p.m. ET, on NBCSN.