A year removed from his first win at the Chicagoland Speedway in 2018, GMS Racing’s Brett Moffitt came in looking to repeat the same success he had one year ago. He succeeded by giving the team their second win of the 2019 season.
But this time, the story was a little different, as Moffitt and his No. 24 machine was unsponsored for the first time this season. The truck was all white with only GMS Fabrication on the truck lid and on the back bumper.
“Just a really good Chevy Silverado, Jerry (Baxter, Crew Chief), everyone does a great job,” Moffitt said in his post-race interview with MRN Radio. “We’ve been struggling on mile and a half’s, on and off. We’ve had speed at times and not at times, and then this pit crew got us out first, you could never complain about that. They did solid all night. I was able to do my job and hang on to it. It was just a full team effort tonight and we executed the race how we needed to, even when we lost track position, we never got down.”
Austin Hill and Johnny Sauter made up the front row for the Camping World 225 after qualifying earlier in the day. The race marked Sauter’s return from suspension last weekend at Gateway.
Stages were broken into 35/35/80 laps to make up the scheduled 150 lap race.
The first stage was relatively clean for the most part but still had some noticeable incidents. On the very first lap, everyone was trying to avoid the No. 99 of Ben Rhodes, who had major smoke coming out of the back end of his truck. Rhodes would eventually go to the garage where the team would try to work on his truck, but later would be out for the rest of the race due to an engine issue that relegated him to a last-place finish.
Then on Lap five, the first caution was brought out by the No. 3 of Jordan Anderson who spun off Turn 4. After that, the first stage remained clean and green for most of the way with the No. 98 of Grant Enfinger leading until the last lap, as the No. 51 of Brandon Jones made a late surge to pass Enfinger in Turn 4 for the stage win.
Right as the stage ended, the No. 6 of Norm Benning was parked for the rest of the night when they ignored the black flag for not maintaining minimum speed. Also during the yellow, Rhode’s teammate, Johnny Sauter, was experiencing the same issue as Rhodes and was trying to diagnose the problem.
Stage 2 saw 35 laps again and had just one incident, but some near misses.
On Lap 44, Todd Gilliland barely nudged the No. 54 of Natalie Decker, which spent her spinning in the frontstretch grass to bring out the third caution of the night. Also during the caution, it appeared that Sauter might have been dealing with a plug wire problem, as he was still trying to figure out what was going on with his Tenda Heal truck.
Right after the restart on Lap 47, eventual race winner Moffitt and two-time series champion Matt Crafton made contact with Austin Wayne Self. The three looked like they were going to wreck out of the race but somehow they were able to save their trucks from spinning out.
That was the only major incident in the stage, as this time the stage win would be flip-flopped when Grant Enfinger won the second stage, despite a rally from Jones.
The last stage began on Lap 77 and it was action packed right from the get-go.
On Lap 79, Enfinger had a hard time getting going on the restart, which saw him dropping back in the field. On the same lap, the No. 44 of Spencer Davis got loose off of Turn 4, which sent Davis back down the track only to get collected by Wayne Self. This would bring out the fifth and final caution of the night. This would also see Enfinger’s chances of winning diminish heavily due to the amount of damage he incurred.
It seemed as more trouble would happen for the ThorSport Racing team as right before the restart, Crafton’s No. 88 truck shut off, which caused the restart to be waved off. A little bit after Crafton’s incident, Wayne Self was parked for the rest of the night due to not maintaining minimum speed.
As the race went back green, so did the action. On Lap 98, Enfinger reported a tire going down. Just two laps later, he had to make an unscheduled pit stop to change the tire that went down.
From there, the race went on a long green flag run to the finish. However, Stewart Friesen and Jones battled for the second spot for quite a while until the last round of pit stops began with 34 to go.
Tyler Ankrum was the one who began the final round of green flag pit stops, however, he was busted speeding on pit road which ended his chances of winning for the night.
Everyone else started coming down on pit road with 32 to go or less. The major critical point in the race was when the race leader Moffitt pitted from the lead with 30 to go. After that, we saw Friesen, Harrison Burton, Hill and Jones pitting from the lead with 29 to go while Sheldon Creed pitted from the lead with 27 to go.
Despite the different strategies taking place all over the race track, in hopes of somehow beating Brett Moffitt, they couldn’t. On Lap 125 with 25 to go, the Grimes, Iowa native retook the lead as the pit stops cycled out.
From that point on, hoping for no late race cautions, Moffitt pulled his No. 24 machine away from the field and won his second race of the 2019 Truck Series season.
“Yeah new tires, we were really fast on the bottom,” Moffitt added in his post-race interview with MRN Radio. “That second to last run there, where the 52 (Stewart Friesen) was gaining on us there on the top. Once I moved up there, it took away his air and it kind of stalled his run. Him and the 51 (Brandon Jones) got racing, they both got really good trucks. You know, I was fast on top, fast on the bottom, but clean air with new tires is just better.”
This was Moffitt’s second win of 2019 and the ninth of his Truck Series career.
There were five cautions for 27 laps, with seven lead changes among 12 leaders.
Grant Enfinger continues to lead the championship points standings over Stewart Friesen by 52 points.
Up Next: The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series takes a week off before heading to Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, July 11, live on Fox Sports 1.