Another Iowan will be Racing NASCAR’S Sprint Cup this Weekend at Dover
Cedar Rapids own Landon Cassill has been racing all this season in NASCAR’S Top Division, The Sprint Cup, and now he’ll be joined by another Iowa Native, Brett Moffitt.
Throughout the past decade, chasing his NASCAR dream took Moffitt from Iowa dirt tracks to some of the famed asphalt ovals around the country, from living with his family in Grimes, IA to moving out at 17 and residing in the stock car epicenter of North Carolina.
Every turn Moffitt made was geared toward the moment that arrived Tuesday morning when Jay Robinson Racing handed the 21-year-old the keys to the No. 66 Toyota for his Sprint Cup Series debut Sunday at Dover.
“This is a lifelong dream come true,” Moffitt said. “I don’t think it’s set in completely. I think it’ll take being out on the track to really hit me that, ‘Wow, I’m racing a Sprint Cup race at Dover next to guys like Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and all the greats.’”
There had been times recently when Moffitt wondered if the opportunity would ever arrive. Without the deep-pocket backing that carried some of his contemporaries to higher levels, Moffitt scraped together just enough throughout the past five years to continue fueling his dream each season.
“It’s like almost every year the thing could’ve ended, but somehow something would happen that kept it going,” said his father, Dick Moffitt. “We didn’t know what was going to happen from one year to the next, but one way or another things worked out.”
But after five straight seasons of finishing second or third on the K&N Pro Series East circuit, Moffitt was left without a full-time ride this year. While others he raced door-to-door against graduated from the K&N Series to seats in NASCAR’s three national circuits, Moffitt had been limited to one Nationwide start and a pair of truck series races.
He finished ninth two years ago at Iowa Speedway in his only Nationwide appearance and drove in two truck races last year.
“It’s been stressful,” he said. “It’s not easy to make it right now with the way the economy is. It’s getting better, but it’s still really hard. It was definitely a big question mark in my head. I’m just very, very thankful that it has come together.”
Moffitt’s seat time this year has come during test sessions. His father said Brett turned more than 6,000 test laps last year for Michael Waltrip Racing, and his relationship with the organization opened more doors.
MWR recently partnered with Jay Robinson Racing, which led to the opportunity this weekend.
“If you ask around the garage, you will learn he’s one of the most respected young men in the sport who just hasn’t had a chance at a full-time ride,” team owner Jay Robinson said. “We think he has a lot of talent and will show it at Dover.”
Two of Moffitt’s nine career wins on the K&N circuit came at Dover, and he tested recently for Jay Robinson Racing on the “Monster Mile.”
“I really like Dover,” he said. “I have a lot of fun there. The Cup race is going to be a lot tougher, obviously. It’s 400 miles against the best 43 drivers in the country, but going back to a track where I’ve had success definitely helps. It’s a little bit of a confidence booster going into it.”
Joe Nemechek has been the primary driver of the No. 66 car, with Waltrip and Jeff Burton also racing in the car this season.