[media-credit name=”Photo Credit: hometracks.nascar.com” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]Young up and coming racer Brett Moffitt has had an interesting journey, from his racing start under the tutelage of four-time K&N Pro Series champion Andy Santerre to racing for some of the biggest teams in the sport, including Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing.
But as he kicks off his 2012 K&N Pro Series East season in Bristol, Moffitt is back where he belongs, under the familiar wing of Santerre and with a whole new race team Hattori Racing Enterprises. Moffitt will pilot the No. 11 Toyota Camry and will join teammate Sergio Pena in the Shigeaki Hattori stable.
“Ever since I drove for Andy (Santerre) in 2009, Andy and my dad have been in constant communication,” Moffitt said. “Andy’s been a big help to my career over the past three years.”
“So, when this opportunity came up, Andy told Shigeaki Hattori that he knew should drive his second car and luckily that was me.”
While Moffitt may seem a bit devoted to his old mentor, he knows that Santerre not only has the experience behind him but also has the strength of the new HRE race team with him as well.
“Working for Andy Santerre is just really great,” Moffitt said. “He’s been there. He’s driven race cars, he’s won races and he’s won championships.”
“So, he knows what it takes,” Moffitt continued. “Being able to work for him is really great for a driver because he understands everything you say. He’s always looking out for your best interests as a driver.”
Moffitt has had an eventful three years since debuting as a 16 year old with Andy Santerre in the K&N East Series. Since then, he has had seven wins, four pole positions, 20 top-5 and 25 top-10 finishes and has never finished worse than 3rd in the championship standings.
“After I left Andy last time, I went to Joe Gibbs Racing for a year,” Moffitt said. “I ran in the K&N East Series for them. We were really competitive for them and ended up second in the points.”
“After that, I went to Michael Waltrip Racing,” Moffitt continued. “That was a huge step for my career.”
“MWR made me feel important as a driver,” Moffitt said. “I came in every day and worked on the cars and in the shop.”
“They put a big emphasis on my physical training and I’m still associated with them,” Moffitt continued. “I still have a trainer with them so I go there every day and still work out. That’s always a good connection to still maintain.”
With his return to his mentor Andy Santerre, as well as his new assignment with Hattori Racing Enterprises, Moffitt is excited to get his 2012 race season underway. He just recently finished up testing at Bristol, the first race of the season for the K&N Pro Series East.
“The test went really well,” Moffitt said. “From the first time we unloaded, we had to work on them a little bit but by the end of the day, we were pretty comfortable.”
“We have a couple things we are working with back at the shop and hopefully when we come back to the track, we will be ready to have a good race,” Moffitt continued. “The car was real fast and I’m really looking forward to the race.”
Moffitt has been only been guaranteed eight races with HRE Racing. The remainder of the season’s racing will be dependent on sponsorship, as is so often the case.
“This year Hattori approached me as a driver,” Moffitt said. “They weren’t looking for a driver with a lot of money, just one that they could win races and win championships with.”
“Right now, I’m only guaranteed eight races, with the first race at Bristol on March 17th,” Moffitt said.” That’s where the sponsorship comes into play.”
“We’re still out there searching so hopefully we’re able to find something by then,” Moffitt continued. “But we’re just going to take the first eight and try to be the best we can. Hopefully we’ll find a sponsor and be able to finish it out.”
Moffitt is also looking forward to working with his new teammate at Hattori Racing Enterprises. He will be paired with fellow Santerre protégé Sergio Pena.
“Me and Sergio have always gotten along real well,” Moffitt said. “So, it’s going to be a really fun year. We’re both obviously proven race winners so I think it will be a good year for the team this year.”
In addition to mentor Santerre and teammate Pena, Moffitt is also looking forward to working with Dave McCarty, his new crew chief. McCarty has over 20 years experience in all kinds of racing, from the Nationwide Series to Trucks, ARCA, ASA and the K&N Pro Series East.
“Me and my new crew chief Dave McCarty have spent time getting to know each other,” Moffitt said. “Dave was Darrell Wallace’s crew chief last year at Revolution Racing. Andy felt like he would be a good match up for me so he brought him over.”
Moffitt has been working intensely on establishing that all important chemistry with his new crew chief, as well as their bond on and off the track.
“We’ve just been working together in the shop,” Moffitt said of his new crew chief. “He’s been bossing me around telling me what to do. I say ‘yes sir’ and do it. We have a lot of fun but when it’s time to get things done, we get things done.”
Owner Shigeaki Hattori, as well as HRE General Manager Andy Santerre are equally as excited about having Moffitt with their team as he is to race with them.
“People in an organization are the key to the organization’s success,” Hattori said. “If you hire the right people with knowledge and experience, success will follow.”
“I am excited to have Brett at HRE,” Santerre said. “He is an incredible driving talent and has matured behind the wheel in the last few years. He is more than capable of winning the championship.”
With the confidence of his owner and manager firmly in his corner, Moffitt simply cannot wait to get back to the race track, beginning at Bristol
“I feel like I’ve proven myself as being able to win races and be up front,” Moffitt said. “I’m just looking forward to racing. I love racing and being competitive.”
“That’s what drives me.”