Brett Moffitt, the 25-year old product from Grimes, Iowa, returns to Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) to drive the No. 16 AISIN Group Toyota Tundra. The 2018 kickoff marks Moffitt’s return to HRE after driving for team owner Shige Hattori in 2012 and 2013 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE). Friday’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 is also Moffitt’s return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) after competing in the first five events of 2017. He has one NCWTS start at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) where he finished 22nd last season and led two laps in Stage 1.
A Look Back … The 2017 campaign was HRE’s first foray into full-time NCWTS competition and resulted in an impressive top-10 finish in the drivers championship standings with driver Ryan Truex. The team totaled eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in the 23-race season and posted a runner-up finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The No. 16 team returns this season with an updated fleet of Toyota Tundras, Moffitt’s winning pedigree, and the majority of the team’s 2017 roster intact, including crew chief Scott Zipadelli.
Career Credentials… As a graduate of the NASCAR Next program, Moffitt has accumulated an impressive record in 13 career NCWTS starts. In 2016, Moffitt captured his first-career NCWTS victory at Michigan International Speedway in just his sixth start. He has three top-five and six top-10 finishes in the NCWTS and had a season-best finish of sixth in five starts last season. Moffitt also has 45 races worth of experience in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series where he captured Rookie of the Year honors in 2015.
AISIN Group Returns… AISIN Group returns to HRE to build off a successful 2017 season and will adorn Moffitt’s Toyota Tundra for the first three races of the NCWTS campaign. AISIN Group’s relationship with HRE dates to the organization’s inception in 2008, and Hattori’s own NCWTS driving career in 2005.
Chassis Selection… Zipadelli has prepared chassis No. 002 out of the HRE stable for Friday night’s season opener. Chassis No. 002 raced in both superspeedway events at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway last season.
Tune In… The curtain-opening event at DIS will be covered start to finish by FOX Sports 1. FS1’s coverage begins with three practice sessions on Thursday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET. Two rounds of single-truck qualifying will roll off at 4:30 p.m. ET Friday afternoon, followed by the green flag of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Brett Moffitt Quote:
On returning to HRE and the NCWTS:
“I couldn’t be more excited to get back in a competitive seat and with a team of this caliber. This race team did a lot of great things last year and with all the work Scott (Zipadelli) and the AISIN Group team put in over the offseason, we’re looking forward to our chances of getting to victory lane. Shige (Hattori) always does things first class. I enjoyed running the K&N (Pro Series East) cars for him several years ago, and there’s plenty of people on the team I know and have worked with before. It’s a great fit to be back here with Shige and working with this team. We have a great chance to win races, so I’m focused on making the most of the opportunity.”
On superspeedway racing:
“I haven’t done much restrictor plate racing in the trucks. It’s such a challenge just to make it to the end of these races to have a shot at it. Last year we were coming off (turn) four to the end of the stage leading and got involved in a wreck. There’s no place to hide. You just have to race hard, try and maintain track position at the front of the lead draft and be smart to make it to the end.”