Last week, Andy Santerre Motorsports announced that they had sold off the team to the 909 Group, the organization that runs NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program. After Dover, what is now known as Andy Santerre Motorsports would be done. The Sunoco 150 would be the last race with driver Brett Moffitt, and the last race for Andy Santerre as a car owner in the NASCAR Camping World Series East.
Moffitt made sure their exit would be memorable.
The 17-year-old Grimes, Iowa native took the lead for the fourth and final time at lap 116 using lapped traffic to his advantage. He soared to the checkers more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Ryan Gifford. Moffitt's finish moved him up to third in the final point standings.
“This track is always talked about as that crazy place so it's really cool to win here,” said Moffitt. “The car was just that good, and it's amazing to win here in front of all these Cup guys.”
Moffitt first led after blowing by early leader Matt DiBenedetto on a restart at lap 16, but was relegated to second on a restart at lap 18. Moffitt showed patience and remained glued to DiBenedetto's bumper over the next few laps, but was back out front at lap 40.
Moffitt pitted at lap 47 and didn't make a push for the lead until lap 110. After cutting some valuable real estate away from Gifford, Moffitt was able to use double-wide lapped traffic to his advantage to take the lead.
“I was catching him and the car was a little bit too tight. We caught those lapped cars and I used them. Ryan was able to hang with me for a little while, but as soon as we got into clean air I was able to go. My car was awesome,” he said.
Moffitt led for a total of 85 laps. The win was Moffitt's second of the year, and gave him enough points to move up to third in the point standings with no more races on the schedule.
“This is our last race together. I really wanted Brett to win here. The kid has a bright future and I'm glad we could be a part of it,” said Santerre. “I wish him the best of luck. He and his Dad are great people and we've had a good relationship this year. I'm moving on to different things and I wish them the best. To end the ASM era here at Dover with a win is pretty awesome.”
Corey Lajoie, son of NASCAR veteran Randy Lajoie, finished third.
* * * * *
The Sunoco 150 wasn't the only race going on at Dover International Speedway, however. The event marked the finale for the NASCAR Camping World Series East and the championship was on the line, and in the end, it was another rookie in the spotlight.
Ryan Truex, son of NASCAR Camping World Series East veteran, Martin Truex and brother of Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex, Jr., ended up with the series crown after finishing one position ahead of his toughest rival, Eddie MacDonald. Truex won the championship by a mere 34 points.
“I didn't have the best car today but I think we showed why we are champions - we can adjust on the car and make it better,” said Truex. “I just can't say how much I appreciate everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing, my team, my brother and my parents. I can't tell you how much this means.”
Truex finished the Sunoco 150 in eighth place while MacDonald finished ninth. New England native Mike Greci served as the crew chief for Truex in the effort.
“We had one car we had to race against today and that was Eddie MacDonald in the 71,” said Greci. “And we based our race strategy on racing the 71 car. We were too tight to start with and we adjusted on it and went to too loose after that. Ryan did a great job out there today and his feedback was excellent. We were able to come out of here with a good finish and we were able to race the 71. They've been a first class team all year long so we're pretty fortunate.”
Truex's championship season was comprised of three wins and eight top-10 finishes in an 11-race schedule that started in North Carolina in April. Truex's wins came at Watkins Glen road course, Thompson International Speedway, and Lime Rock Park.
Since the Sunoco 150 ran in conjunction with the Sprint Cup Series race at Dover, Truex, Jr. was able to be present to watch his brother be the first Truex to ever win an East Series championship.
“It's really cool that all three of us, starting with my Dad, that we have all won in this series,” said Truex, Jr. “But Ryan is the first one of us that has won a championship here. It's neat to be a part of it and it's neat to see the different generations come through the (East) series. I'm so proud of the job that Ryan has done this weekend and throughout the season. I'm very, very impressed with the way he's handled himself behind the wheel. We're thankful for MWR for giving him this opportunity and it's been a lot of fun watching him.”
Truex, Sr., who began in the series back in the late 80s, couldn't be more excited. With the championship on the line, he was more nervous than he had ever been at a race.
“It's pretty awesome. It took a lot of years to do it, and we had to use the youngest weapon we had! I was as nervous as I've been at any race. I knew where we were the entire time. He wanted to win the race, but we didn't need to win the race. We had an oil leak and we were tight on gas. We pitted on lap 47 and that was pretty early for gas. I didn't know if we weren't going to run out to be honest with you.”
Truex will be honored on November 14th at the Champions Gala in North Carolina.
NASCAR Camping World East Series Results
At Dover International Speedway
Lap length: 1 mile
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (4) Brett Moffitt, Grimes, Iowa, Chevrolet, 150 laps, 99.576 mph, $14,825.
2. (14) Ryan Gifford, Winchester, Tenn., Chevrolet, 150, $9,870.
3. (5) Corey LaJoie, Concord, N.C., Ford, 150, $9,050.
4. (10) David Mayhew, Atascadero, Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $7,500.
5. (16) Alan Tardiff, Lyman, Maine, Chevrolet, 150, $7,000.
6. (15) Steve Park, East Northport, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $6,600.
7. (18) Ryan Duff, Hazard, KY., Chevrolet, 149, $6,300.
8. (6) Ryan Truex, Mayetta, N.J., Toyota, 149, $5,900.
9. (2) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 149, $5,700.
10. (20) Jarit Johnson, El Cajon, Calif., Chevrolet, 149, $5,100.
11. (1) Matt DiBenedetto, Grass Valley, Calif., Toyota, 148, $6,900.
12. (19) Dustin Delaney, Mayfield, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147, $5,150.
13. (27) Jesus Hernandez, Fresno, Calif., Dodge, 147, $6,350.
14. (21) Tiffany Daniels, Smithfield, Va., Dodge, 147, $4,050.
15. (9) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 145, $4,300.
16. (8) Jonathan Smith, Beacon Falls, Conn., Chevrolet, 144, $4,050.
17. (24) Jody Lavender, Hartsville, S.C., Chevrolet, 143, $3,900.
18. (26) Barney McRae, Milton, Vt., Chevrolet, 136, $3,350.
19. (22) Rich Gould, North Brunswick, N.J., Chevrolet, 136, $3,300.
20. (17) Dale Quarterley, Westfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 133, vibration, $3,250.
21. (25) Scott Bouley, Middlebury, Conn., Chevrolet, 129, $3,200.
22. (3) Kevin Swindell, Germantown, Tenn., Dodge, 114, transmission, $3,176.
23. (7) Alex Kennedy, Aztec, N.M., Chevrolet, 111, $3,650.
24. (13) Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.VA., Chevrolet, 89, accident, $3,600.
25. (12) Jeff Anton, Russell, Mass., Chevrolet, 56, accident, $3,050.
26. (11) Jonathon Gomez, Twin Falls, Idaho, Chevrolet, 47, accident, $3,020.
27. (28) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., Chevrolet, 25, vibration, $3,500.
28. (23) Matt Kurzejewski, Mansfield, Pa., Ford, 13, vibration, $3,000.
Time of Race: 1 hour 30 minutes 23 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.562 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: M.DiBenedetto (155.166 mph, 23.201 seconds)
Caution Flags: 5 for 26 laps.
Lead Changes: 11 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M. DiBenedetto 1-15; B. Moffitt 16-25; M. DiBenedetto 26-40; B. Moffitt 41-50; M. DiBenedetto 51; B. Moffitt 52-82; R. Gifford 83-87; D. Mayhew 88; R. Gifford 89-95; D. Mayhew 96; R. Gifford 97-116; B. Moffitt 117-150.
Standings: 1. R. Truex, 1719; 2. E. MacDonald, 1685; 3. B. Moffitt, 1625; 4. J. Lavender, 1587; 5. S. Park, 1571; 6. M. Kobyluck, 1567; 7. A. Tardiff, 1416; 8. D. Delaney, 1395; 9. R. Duff, 1384; 10. A. Kennedy, 1324