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Brett Moffitt picks up three more Truck races with Red Horse Racing

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After subbing for Matt Tifft for two races in the No. 11 Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series, Red Horse Racing has announced Brett Moffitt will be back in the truck for the next three races.

Moffitt, the 2015 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year, will drive the No. 11 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 17), Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 27) and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Sept. 4).

Tifft is out indefinitely, recovering from brain surgery to remove a low-grade tumor.

Moffitt drove the No. 11 at Kentucky Speedway and at Pocono Raceway. The Iowa native started second at Kentucky but fell victim to engine failure. At Pocono, Moffitt took the No. 11 from 15th to third for his best finish in four career Truck starts.

“Brett has done a great job in the No. 11 so far and we’re glad to welcome him back to the team for the next three races,” said team owner Tom DeLoach in a press release. “Hopefully we can continue to ride the momentum that (crew chief) Scott Zipadelli and the team have built and get to Victory Lane.”

After his Rookie of the Year honors last year, the two Truck starts are Moffitt’s only NASCAR starts this season.

This season the No. 11 has been piloted by Moffitt, Tifft (three races), German Quiroga (three races), Ben Kennedy (three races) and  Jake Griffin (one race).

Brett Moffitt making first NASCAR start of year subbing for Matt Tifft in Truck race

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Brett Moffitt, the 2015 Sprint Cup rookie of the year, will drive Red Horse Racing’s No. 11 truck for Matt Tifft in Thursday night’s Camping World Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

Tifft is out indefinitely as he recovers from brain surgery July 1 to remove a low-grade tumor. Moffitt, who hasn’t competed in a NASCAR race since the 2015 Sprint Cup finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, will be driving in his third Truck race but his first since 2013.

“Obviously, we’re thinking of Matt and can’t wait for him to return, so we’re sending him our best wishes and we hope to see him back at the track soon,” said Moffitt in a press release. “I hate that it’s under these circumstances, but I’m really grateful for this opportunity with Red Horse Racing and I hope it can lead to more.”

Tifft was replaced by German Quiroga two weeks ago at Iowa Speedway.

Moffitt, 23, earned the Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year honor last season after making 31 starts for Michael Waltrip Racing and Front Row Motorsports as a substitute driver for Brian Vickers and David Ragan.

Moffitt’s best finish in those 31 races was eighth at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The native of Grimes, Iowa, made the first of his two 2013 Truck starts at Kentucky Speedway driving for ThorSport Racing. He started 34th and finished 14th.

Matt Tifft to undergo surgery for tumor in his brain

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Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Matt Tifft will undergo surgery for removal of a low-grade glioma in his brain.

The slow-growing tumor was found during treatment and evaluation for a recent disk condition in his back. Tifft, who turned 20 years old two days ago, is expected to undergo surgery and rehabilitation soon afterward and is expected to return to racing once cleared by doctors.

David Ragan will drive for Tifft in Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway.

Tifft did not drive in either the recent Xfinity or Camping World Truck Series races at Iowa Speedway. Sam Hornish Jr. won the Xfinity race at Iowa with Joe Gibbs Racing. German Quiroga drove in the Truck series race for Tifft.

Tifft had driven in three Truck series races and six Xfinity races. He won the pole for the Xfinity race at Talladega.

Ragan drove nine races for Joe Gibbs Racing last season in the Sprint Cup Series after Kyle Busch was injured. Ragan had three top-10 finishes, including a fourth-place result at Auto Club Speedway. He finished the season with Michael Waltrip Racing. Ragan is driving in the Cup series this year for BK Racing.

Christopher Bell wins at Gateway; 50th Truck triumph for Kyle Busch Motorsports

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Christopher Bell held off a last-lap surge by Ben Rhodes to win Saturday’s wild Drivin’ for Linemen 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Bell earned his second career series win, having also won last year at Eldora. He also scored Kyle Busch Motorsports’ 50th Truck Series win, which ties Roush-Fenway Racing for the record for most all-time in the series by a team owner.

MORE: Townley, Gallagher wreck, wrestle and then slug it out after Gateway wreck

MORE: Results of Saturday’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200 Truck race at Gateway

MORE: Byron takes over lead in Truck Series standings after Gateway

“This one is for my guys,” said Bell, who led 38 of 160 laps, in victory lane to Fox Sports 1. “They deserve this one. We’ve been so fast all year long and I kept making a lot of mistakes. Track position was everything.”

So was Bell’s determination on the final restart with two laps left. Rhodes challenged Bell but the latter’s Toyota was just a bit stronger than Rhodes’ Toyota. One of the biggest keys to the win was how he ran his line in the last two laps following the final restart, Bell said.

“I figured the safest thing was to run the bottom because I knew my truck was turning pretty good,” he said.

Rhodes, who started on the pole, finished second, followed by Daniel Hemric, Johnny Sauter and Erik Jones.

“(Bell) did an awesome job all night,” Rhodes said to FS1. “He raced everybody clean and with respect and we could use a little more of that in this series after this crazy Drivin’ for Linemen 200.”

Rhodes’ calling the race “crazy” was fitting — there were six wrecks, including one with six laps left that saw John Wes Townley exit his truck and then go after Spencer Gallagher (who was also in the wreck), putting him in a headlock, wrestling him to the ground and punching Gallagher.

William Byron, who won the last two Truck races, finished 17th.

HOW BELL WON: Bell took the lead on Lap 153, waited out the red flag and caution periods for the John Wes Townley/Spencer Gallagher wreck, fight and clean-up, and refused to give up the lead to Ben Rhodes when the race resumed with two laps left.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Rhodes earned a Truck Series career-best second-place finish. … Defending Truck Series champ Erik Jones, making his first start of the season in a truck (he now races full-time in the Xfinity Series) rallied from an early wreck with Cameron Hayley to finish fifth. … Jordan Anderson bounced back from a late wreck to finish 11th.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: After wrecking his primary truck in practice earlier in the day, Rico Abreu suffered clutch problems prior to the start of the race. His team fixed the problem, but Abreu was unable to finish higher than 14th. … Engine issues forced Brandon Brown to fail to start the race and was scored last in the 32-truck field. … It’s likely John Wes Townley will face penalties for wrestling and punching Spencer Gallagher on the racing surface after their late-race crash.

NOTABLE: The race was red flagged for six minutes, 30 seconds on Lap 120 when Jordan Anderson, Austin Wayne Self and Jennifer Jo Cobb were involved in a wreck. After Anderson and Self got together, Self’s truck was hit broadside by Cobb, with both trucks sustaining heavy damage. … Teammates Tyler Reddick and Daniel Hemric were battling for fifth place when they made slight contact on Lap 72 and Hemric went spinning, sustaining just minor damage. Hemric rebounded to finish third, while Reddick finished 25th. … The start of the race was delayed nearly 90 minutes to dry the track after rain.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I had a blast tonight. Career-best finish of second is great, but after tasting (a chance at victory) for four times now and haven’t been able to go home and get it, that’s been tough, but hopefully here soon. We’re just going to keep pushing forward.” – Ben Rhodes, who finished second.

WHAT’S NEXT: The series has next weekend off before resuming Thursday, July 7, at Kentucky Speedway (green flag is 8:30 p.m. ET).

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Rain cancels Truck qualifying, Rhodes to start on pole at Gateway tonight

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Rain and lightning have forced cancellation of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying for tonight’s Drivin for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park in suburban St. Louis.

But there is good news: weather forecasts predict the rain will soon depart the area and that the race will go on as scheduled starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. The race will be televised live on Fox Sports 1, and will be broadcast live on the radio on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Because qualifying was cancelled, the starting lineup has been set per the NASCAR rule book, using combined practice speeds. Because Ben Rhodes was the fastest in both practice sessions earlier in the day before the rain came, he will start from the pole on the 200-mile race, while Johnny Sauter is on the outside of the front row.

William Byron, who has won the last two Truck Series races, will start third, followed by John Hunter-Nemechek and German Quiroga.

Here’s the starting grid, as set by NASCAR’s rulebook:

truck qual gateway 6-25-2016


Follow @JerryBonkowski