Toyota NCWTS Texas Post-Race Recap

by Official Release On Sat, Nov. 03, 2018

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Texas Motor Speedway
Race 21 of 23 – 220.5 miles, 147 laps
November 2, 2018

1st, Justin Haley*
2nd, Ben Rhodes*
5th, Austin Hill*
*non-Toyota driver

1st, Johnny Sauter*# 3128 points
2nd, Justin Haley*# 3107 points
3rd, BRETT MOFFITT# 3109 points
4th, NOAH GRAGSON# 3105 points
5th, Grant Enfinger*# 3087 points
6th, Matt Crafton*# 3082 points
*non-Toyota driver
**unofficial point standings

· Tundra driver Todd Gilliland was a lap away from capturing his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race when he ran out of fuel at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night on the final lap.

· Gilliland led a race-high 60 (of 147) laps in the NCWTS event and would go on to finish fourth in the event.

· Toyota NCWTS Playoffs driver Brett Moffitt was the highest-finishing Tundra driver at Texas after placing third.

· Toyota Playoffs driver Noah Gragson placed 10th in Friday night’s NCWTS race at Texas.

· Tundra driver Harrison Burton finished sixth in Friday night’s race – collecting his fifth top-10 NCWTS finish this season.

· Both Moffitt (third) and Gragson (fourth) remain in the top-four in the Playoffs standings heading into the NCWTS cutoff race next week at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.


BRETT MOFFITT, No. 16 AW NC/Aisin Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing

Finishing Position: 3rd

How was your race tonight?

“Honestly, I thought our Aisin Group Tundra was pretty good. I guess we had too much right-front shock on it and on the pit stops, the right front wheel wouldn’t drop out and we lost a lot of track position and this race was all about track position. That cost us a lot in the long run, but we salvaged a decent finish and hopefully a good points night.”

How important was track position?

“Track position was everything here at Texas and we had a good Aisin Group Tundra. We had a right-front issue where we had a little too much shock and the right front wheel would not come off on pit stops so we lost a bunch of track position. It doesn’t matter what you have under the hood here at Texas, you’re not going to make up that many spots. We just need to execute a better race and move forward.”

What did you think of the NT1 engine?

“It’s different – I wouldn’t say good, bad or either, but it’s certainly different.”

What do you need to do next week and did you feel good about your run tonight?

“It certainly helps to run good, but when we’re in the Playoffs like this, we need to get back to victory lane. That would be the most important thing to do. I thought we executed Martinsville very well from where we qualified to finishing second. I thought tonight we did a better job at getting some stage points and being right there with the competition and fortunately things ended the way they did for the Playoff guys that ran out of fuel. That helped, but we still need to get a little bit better. We have a fast truck, we just need to be able to execute 100 percent and stay up front.”

Why do you look mad after finishing third?

“I’m watching another guys celebrating in victory lane knowing that he’s going to Homestead. I’m a competitor.”

What are your thoughts on Phoenix and do you think you can win and get to Homestead?

“I certainly think we can win. Every given weekend I think we’ve had the speed capable of winning. It’s just about the execution of the race and I like Phoenix, I’ve never ran it in a truck. I’ve got a couple Cup starts there so that will be completely different and then obviously with the reconfiguration, who knows what’s going to happen. I’m confident in our race team that we can go there and compete and win. I think we’re in a decent points position now where unless some freak accident happens we’ll be alright. I don’t know, we’ll see when we get there.”

TODD GILLILAND, No. 4 JBL/SiriusXM Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports

Finishing Position: 4th

Did you run out of gas?

“I have no idea how we were on fuel. I thought we were good. I am very disappointed but very proud at the same time. My team gave me a great truck and I wrecked in qualifying. We were still able to come out here and contend for a win. We win and lose as a team. I made a mistake and we ran out of gas. It is what it is. I am so proud of everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports. We tried a completely different package this weekend. It definitely shows that we were better. We’re here to gain on it every week. As disappointed as we were tonight. To come from the back and almost win was a solid night.”

Do you feel like you need to win before next year?

“Absolutely for the competition as well as myself. It’s been a long time since I won a race. In that mindset, I guess. Once I win one truck race, you see you can do it and win another. Same with every series. We’ve been really close. Closing deals is something different. I feel like we had it sealed up tonight. But obviously didn’t. I feel like I ran a really smart race. One of my best ones. We’ve had a really tough stretch. Still a fourth-place finish isn’t bad. Considering what we could have had, it was horrible.”

Did you know before the last half-lap that you were in trouble?

“No, I didn’t even know that we were close on fuel at all. That’s what got us out in the lead and ultimately took our race. I definitely didn’t know there was anything happening.”

How bad is this situation now that this has happened twice this season?

“It’s horrible. I’m incredibly disappointed, upset with myself and I still feel like we could have been faster if I didn’t wreck in qualifying. There’s so many things. We win and lose as a team. I’m super proud to be in that position and to be fighting for wins every now and then, but I feel like we’re right on the verge of being a competitor every week and I feel like once we get to that amount of speed the wins will keep coming easier. You don’t have to have 100 percent of the things go right for you to win. It’s more self-induced. I think we’re getting there every week and that’s what I’m really proud of. At the same time, it definitely hurts.”

Is there any other way to describe this other than heartbreaking?

“Just heartbreak and kind of disbelief. You’re a half-lap away from my first win at a place like this that’s so special and after everything we did today coming from the back, I felt like we executed a perfect race honestly. Besides lacking a little bit of speed to beat some of those guys straight up. With what our cards were dealt for the race, we ran 100 percent perfect I felt like minus the last half-lap. That’s all we can do is look forward now. It’s over and just need to move on.”

Can you run a fuel simulation or did your team worry about fuel mileage in those closing laps?

“My crew chief thought we were good to lap 150. By everyone’s calculations, we should still be out there doing a burnout. That’s all you can go off of. I don’t feel like we made any big changes. More just trying to get ourselves clean air. At Texas here, it’s super important. I think you could see that when the 52 was behind me and then once he got past me and I was in dirty air, I got tight and he pulled away. Just about putting ourselves in the right positions and with the cards we were dealt, I felt like that was all we could do. I still definitely could have been faster.”

How do you feel about your chances at Phoenix?

“Obviously KBM has had really fast equipment there in the past. Actually did the Truck race there last year, but you probably didn’t know I was in it because I was in the back. Hopefully we’re up front again next weekend and this is really good momentum for us at least heading into these last two weeks. We had a really rough stretch before this, but no doubt in my mind that we can rebound and go win Phoenix.”

NOAH GRAGSON, No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports

Finishing Position: 10th

What happened in tonight’s race?

“I got back on pit stops when we took fuel only and couldn’t get the balance right in traffic. Just a tough night. No excuse. I’m going to work my ass off this week and next week and do whatever we have to do. This is unacceptable and we just have to get out there in Phoenix so we can get to Homestead.”

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