Toyota NCWTS ISM Raceway Post-Race Recap

by Official Release On Sat, Nov. 10, 2018

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
ISM Raceway
Race 22 of 23 – 150 miles, 150 laps
November 9, 2018

4th, Grant Enfinger*
5th, Stewart Freisen*
*non-Toyota driver

1st, BRETT MOFFITT# 4000 points
2nd, Justin Haley*# 4000 points
3rd, Johnny Sauter*# 4000 points
4th, NOAH GRAGSON# 4000 points
5th, Matt Crafton* 2236 points
6th, Grant Enfinger* 2231 points
*non-Toyota driver
**unofficial point standings

· Tundra driver Brett Moffitt captured his fifth win of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season at ISM Raceway.

· Toyota drivers swept the top-three finishing positions during Friday’s event while placing five Tundras inside the top-10.

· Moffitt led 19 (of 150) laps in the NCWTS event and won stage one of the event.

· Brett Moffitt and Noah Gragson are among four drivers who will compete for the 2018 NCWTS Championship next Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway

· 17-year old Derek Kraus earned an eighth-place finish in his NCWTS debut.


BRETT MOFFITT, No. 16 KOBE Toyopet Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing

Finishing Position: 1st

How did you put yourself in position to make that move for the win?

“We just had a badass KOBE Toyopet Tundra. I kind of screwed us by getting a speeding penalty there, but more importantly it’s Veteran’s Day weekend and I have to give a shout out to all those who have served and are currently serving. Also, very special to us, we have a steering wheel here and it’s got Torie Costa Foundation on it, which is Scott Zipadelli’s (crew chief) daughter who passed away from pancreatic cancer. It was her birthday yesterday so I’m glad she was in the car with me and I know this is going to mean a lot to our race team.”

Have you thought about how close you could be to winning a championship?

“We’re focused on Homestead already and we just knew that we had to have a smooth night. When the 98 (Grant Enfinger) got up there obviously we started worrying and that’s when we knew we needed to win. Can’t say enough for this group and Toyota, TRD, Joe Gibbs 299th engine win with Mark Cronquist. They’ve put our backs against the wall, but this son-of-a-bitch did it again. I can’t say enough about them and all of our partners and just this whole HRE team.”

How were you able to make that final pass for the race win?

“We had a really good KOBE Toyopet Tundra all night long. I kind of screwed us there with the pit road speeding penalty, which I wasn’t even trying to push it so I was a little bit caught off-guard, but I knew once we got the track position back, I didn’t know whether I wanted a caution at the end or not because we were in and then the caution kind of mixed that up, but luckily we were able to take advantage of it, got a badass restart and get to the front.”

How much confidence do you have heading to Homestead?

“Tons of confidence. This HRE team has been strong pretty much everywhere we go I feel like we have a shot to win the race if we execute. Tonight we executed like we need to and we need to do that next week. Homestead is a fun track for me, I like it. I’ve also never been there in a truck, never been here in a truck and never been there in a truck – only been in Cup cars so hopefully that’s a good sign.”

After the ups and downs of your career, how does it feel to be going to Homestead to contend for a championship?

“This is definitely a second revival of my career really. I was racing Cup, but it wasn’t really in winning equipment and now I came back to the Truck Series and Shige Hattori has built a great race team here and obviously a winning race team. It’s a great opportunity for me to showcase my talent and it’s just fun working with these guys. We have eight or nine guys full time employees that travel every weekend and they put everything into it and have been working until midnight these last few weeks to get these trucks ready to go win a championship and now we have a shot.”

Were you going to be satisfied running third if the caution hadn’t come out?

“I’m not just going to run third if I have a shot at a win. I still want to get as many wins on the season as possible, but for sure we’re locked in now and if we would have finished third we would have had our heads held high also. Next Friday the pressure’s off, the gloves are off and we just have to go out there and fight and execute and try to win a race. I think it’s a race win to win the championship and that’s what we need to do.”

SCOTT ZIPADELLI, crew chief, No. 16 KOBE Toyopet Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing Enterprises

Have you determined which motor you will run at Homestead?

“Well, they (GMS Racing) didn’t have very good trucks today, honestly. I would love to stir the pot right now because that’s all they do is whine about our engines, but if you look at the race itself, we kill them through the corners. Our truck drives better than their truck. The engine has some advantages in some spots. All I’ll say is yes it does rev higher, but it only revs higher when you’re shifting from second, third and fourth. Once you get in high gear, it doesn’t rev any higher.”

How much pride is there to win maybe one more race for the OEM motor?

“I’m very proud of it. It’s a great piece, it’s a proven piece. It’s all I can say, we swapped engines last week and went to Texas and qualified better than we’ve qualified all year – qualified fourth and finished third. I think this team is strong enough to perform at the top level with either piece. We picked the OEM engine at the beginning of the year based on the rule books and the rule book is changing and we have to adapt to that. Can’t thank Mark Cronquist and TRD enough for all that they’ve done for us and give us great pieces, but we had a really good truck today and the engine is one major component of the whole package.”

Are there any updates on the status for next season with this team?

“I think for all of us sitting at this table, we’re focused on next week. I don’t know what I’m doing next year. We all have a plan of what we’d like to do, but in this sport you don’t know what you’re doing until you know what you’re doing. Right now we’re focused on winning the championship and obviously I love this team and this is the most fun I’ve had in racing in 25 years. Guys work seven days a week with smiles on their face the past three weeks to get to this point. I would sign up to do this for many years to come with this group, Brett (Moffitt) driving and Shige Hattori owning it. We’re trying to get through today and then trying to get through Friday and then hopefully Friday we get this thing knocked out of the park and we’ll all be in good shape.”

Is there a risk to over-rev the engine by shifting?

“Yes, there’s always a risk in that. This engine operates at a higher RPM. You’re capable of going to a higher RPM where the NT1 engine stops at 7500, it hits the chip where we can go a little higher than that through gear changes.”

What truck are you bringing to Homestead and where has that truck run previously?

“We’re bringing truck seven to Homestead. We last ran it at Vegas and since Vegas we’ve spent quite a bit of time on updating it and trying to get it ready to go to Homestead. Not for any particular reason other than it was a truck that we’ve run a lot and we’ve won races with all of our trucks actually, but this truck we took out of rotation and did some updates to it. We’ve been working on it for the past three or four weeks just getting it ready for Miami.”

SHIGE HATTORI, team owner, Hattori Racing Enterprises

How are your sponsors feeling about the success?

“All of our sponsors are happy right now and they want to continue to next year, but we don’t know yet. Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) asks for more budget every week.”

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

Finishing Position: 2nd

What happened on the final restart?

“I just got run up the hill in turns one and two on the restart and it was just hard racing honestly. Beating and banging, that’s what ISM Raceway is all about. Main focus was to get to next weekend in Homestead and obviously I wanted this win, led a lot of laps early in the race and slid through my pit box and had to restart in the back just a mistake on my part. We’re on to the next round and that’s what we came here to do obviously. Can’t thank all the Safelite AutoGlass KBM guys – they worked their tails off on this Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra and I’m so thankful. Just a heartbreak, I thought we had it before that caution. It is what it is, we move onto next weekend and I’ll take second and try to win the next one.”

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