Friday, September 17, 2021

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Moffitt Takes Dominating Win at CTMP; Second Straight Victory

Nobody had anything to compete with Brett Moffitt at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as the driver of the No. 24 CMR Construction & Roofing Chevrolet went to victory lane after leading 44 of 64 laps.

For Moffitt, it was his second consecutive win in the NASCAR Playoffs after scoring the victory at Bristol Motor Speedway the week prior.

Moffitt won the first stage before finishing seventh in the second stage, which was all to plan for the GMS Racing team.

“Our goal was to win Stage 1 for that playoff point and try to win the race for those five playoff points,” Moffitt said. “We executed to 100 per cent and that’s all we can ask for. [Have to] stay firing on all cylinders like that.”

“It’s big. I wouldn’t really pin-point these two wins. I’d pin-point the last month and a half or two months. We’ve been getting stronger and stronger,” he said. “Our [No.] 24 team is continuing to develop and evolve and work better together. Everyone’s digging down deep and working harder than ever. Even though we’re in a comfortable spot now, it’s not time to let up. We want to win [Las] Vegas.”

Alex Tagliani, who finished fourth in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series race, finished second. It was a strong showing for the Quebec driver in his one-off Truck appearance.

“All weekend we were fighting tight and [my team] was making it better,” he said after the race. “Everything they touched was better. We just missed that little front end to make it better and fight with the [No.] 24. Overall, they’re happy. Scored some big points for the [No.] 51 team for their playoff run.”

A fuel mileage race at the end of the day had the No. 24 team backing off, despite having a big lead. It allowed Tagliani to start the trek to chasing him down.

“I wish we had one less lap of yellow,” Tagliani said. “I think he would’ve struggled. We were okay because we saved really good fuel. Winning the race on fuel would’ve been great, but now how you want. The faster truck won the race.”

Ben Rhodes, who led nine laps in the race, finished third while Sheldon Creed wound up fourth in a back-up truck, a result he was happy with.

“I just tried to learn as much as I could there at the beginning,” Creed said post-race. “We passed a bunch of trucks and then played strategy. We were up front pretty much that last half of the race. Just got to learn with guys who have been here already.”

One of the best moments of the race for Creed came early when he passed veteran road racer Tagliani.

“He’s been here a lot and raced here earlier today, so that feels really cool,” he said. “I tried to learn behind him but then he made a mistake so I was like ‘well, I have an opportunity to pass him, so I’m just going to go.'”

Rounding out the top-10 finishers were Austin Hill, Johnny Sauter, Stewart Friesen, Ross Chastain, Tyler Ankrum and Raphael Lessard.

For Lessard, it was his last planned Truck race of the year. It was a mostly clean race for him aside from an early spin in turns 5a and b.

“It was a great day for DGR-Crosley [Racing],” he said. “Tyler [Ankrum] and I were both battling in the top-10 at the end of the day. I’m really happy with how we did. I had a lot of fun out there today.”

Moffitt’s win was the 11th of his Truck Series career. He goes into the next race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the only playoff driver locked into the Round of 6. Moffitt has also won the last four playoff races, dating back to 2018.

“I don’t think it’s anything to do with me. It’s all of us,” he said, in regards to the playoff momentum he’s gained.

“It’s everyone rising to the occasion and stepping up and doing better. Cooler heads always prevail. When things are going smoothly and to plan, it’s easier to compete and to win. I guess we’re all doing better under pressure. The pay window’s open for the season right now. Pre-[playoffs] you can test, you can experiment. Everyone races a little differently. When it’s go time in the playoffs, wins are all that matters.”

Gary Klutt finished 12th while the other Canadians in the field, D.J. Kennington and Jason White wound up 15th and 20th respectively. The final Canuck, Dan Corcoran, finished 27th after an early crash.

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