Despite an overtime restart and making contact with his teammate Zane Smith, Grimes, Iowa native Brett Moffitt held on to win his first race of the 2020 season at Kansas Speedway and is now one of four drivers eligible for the Championship 4.
“Definitely relief, Moffitt said following the Kansas victory. “It’s go time in the season, and we’ve had a pretty rough one on our No. 23 (GMS) team, so it’s a lot of relief to get back to victory lane to do it in a such high-pressure situation and knowing now we have a shot to win the championship.”
Kansas Speedway was the opening round for the Round of 8 Playoffs for the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, which began on Saturday afternoon on a windy day in Kansas City, KS. Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Chandler Smith was on the pole with Hailie Deegan making her first Truck Series appearance starting 34th in the No. 17 DGR-Crosley Ford F-150. Stages 30-30-74 laps made up the 134-lap race but an overtime restart caused the race to go three laps longer than the advertised distance.
Stage 1: Lap 1 – Lap 30
The action was intense from the get-go with playoff driver Ben Rhodes brushing the Turn 2 wall early on. The Kentucky native fell in the running order as far back as 20th when the first stage ended.
Meanwhile, GMS Racing’s Sheldon Creed swiped the lead at the start of the race and held on to win the first stage. Following Creed were Chandler Smith, Austin Hill, Zane Smith, Matt Crafton, Christian Eckes, Grant Enfinger, Johnny Sauter, Moffitt, and Todd Gilliland completing the Top 10.
Stage 2: Lap 37 – Lap 60
After the restart on Lap 37, a major wreck occurred off Turn 4 causing a seven-minute red flag. Multiple drivers were involved in the accident including some playoff drivers. Tyler Ankrum’s truck caught on fire after breaking a fuel line and we saw his No. 26 truck go up in flames. Other involved were Talladega winner Raphael Lessard, David Gravel, Parker Kligerman, Tanner Gray, Clay Greenfield, Ben Rhodes, Dawson Cram, and Trevor Bayne.
During the red flag, Rhodes’ team was penalized for having too many crew members over the wall as they were repairing the truck during the damaged vehicle policy. The penalty ultimately ended Rhodes’s shot of winning the race, and he eventually wound up 20th, three laps down. With just two races left before the championship race at Phoenix, the Kentucky native faces a must-win situation moving forward at Texas and Martinsville.
Following the red flag, a few battles for the lead ensued. Zane Smith grabbed the lead from Austin Hill on Lap 48 but Creed was back out front (Lap 54) for the Stage 2 victory, sweeping both of the stages. Zane Smith, Chandler Smith, Austin Hill, Eckes, Crafton, Gilliland, Sauter, Moffitt, and Enfinger rounded out the Top 10.
Prior to the conclusion of Stage 2, playoff drivers Christian Eckes and Austin Hill made major contact after Eckes tried avoiding the lap truck of Jennifer Jo Cobb on the frontstretch which caused Hill’s team to have a long pit stop to fix the damage during the Stage 2 break.
Stage 3: Lap 67 – Lap 139
With 52 laps to go, Zane Smith passed teammate Sheldon Creed for the lead. Smith maintained the lead for the longest time until the final round of the green-flag pit stops occurred with 34 laps to go. Following Smith’s, and Moffitt’s pit stops, both GMS Racing teammates battled each other on the apron. Smith held Moffitt briefly before Moffitt had the top spot.
However, during the initial cycle, Moffitt was unable to check out which allowed Smith to close back in and take the lead again with 10 laps to go. Smith looked as though he had the race in the bag but Moffitt came back and challenged again. Unfortunately for Smith, Moffitt came down to block for the lead, but it was a little too much as Smith ended up sliding sideways into Turn(s) 3 and 4 causing an overtime restart.
Even with the overtime restart, Moffitt scored his 12th career victory and is now locked into the Championship 4 for the third consecutive year since 2018. Zane Smith finished in the 11th position after the contact.
“I think that was our ticket to Phoenix right there,” Smith said after the contact with Moffitt. “I felt like, I’ve really been stepping it up at the track for sure. I don’t know if that showed at the track today, but it was just whoever could work through lap traffic at the end. I got him (Moffitt) and pulled away a little bit, then he (Moffitt) got to me and did a slider. I had a big run down the hill and he (Moffitt) hit my right-front pretty hard. Luckily, I was able to save the truck off the fence.”
There were four cautions for 24 laps and 13 lead changes among nine different drivers.
Moffitt led twice for 15 laps en route to victory.
Updated Playoffs standings
- Brett Moffitt, Locked into the Championship 4
- Sheldon Creed, +26 above the cut line
- Austin Hill, +19 above the cut line
- Zane Smith, +7 above the cut line
Below the cut line
- Grant Enfinger, -7
- Matt Crafton, -15
- Ben Rhodes, -33
- Tyler Ankrum, -56
Official Results following the Clean Harbors 200 at Kansas Speedway.
- Brett Moffitt, led 15 laps, locked into Championship 4
- Sheldon Creed, (Playoff driver) led 61 laps, won both stages
- Austin Hill, (Playoff driver), led 13 laps
- Grant Enfinger, (Playoff driver), led one lap
- Chandler Smith, led one lap
- Christian Eckes, led seven laps
- Timothy Peters
- Matt Crafton, (Playoff driver)
- Derek Kraus
- Trevor Bayne
- Zane Smith, (Playoff driver), led 37 laps
- Ryan Truex, 1 lap down
- Todd Gilliland, 1 lap down
- Tyler Hill, 1 lap down
- Parker Kligerman, 1 lap down
- Hailie Deegan, 1 lap down
- Tate Fogleman, 1 lap down
- Johnny Sauter, 1 lap down, led one lap
- Austin Wayne Self, 2 laps down
- Ben Rhodes, (Playoff driver), 3 laps down
- Danny Bohn, 3 laps down
- Spencer Boyd, 4 laps down
- Dawson Cram, 4 laps down
- Colin Garrett, 4 laps down
- Clay Greenfield, 5 laps down
- Ray Ciccarelli, 6 laps down
- Josh Bilicki, 7 laps down
- Jennifer Jo Cobb, 9 laps down
- Jordan Anderson, 12 laps down
- Norm Benning, OUT, Vibration
- Tim Viens, OUT, Fuel Pump
- Raphael Lessard, OUT, Crash
- Tyler Ankrum, (Playoff driver) OUT, Crash
- David Gravel, OUT, Crash
- Tanner Gray, OUT, Crash
Up Next: The NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series will visit Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 25 scheduled for noon ET on FOX Sports 1 and MRN Radio.