Hampton, GA- The second of two races on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Active Pest Control 200 of the NASCAR Truck Series, saw a competitive race with a dramatic finish that saw Brett Moffitt of the No. 16 AISIN Toyota win the checkered flag.
Starting the race in pole position was Kyle Busch of the No. 4 Cessna Toyota. A slow start out of the gate, Busch was unable to finish any laps with the lead in stage one, and fell to third place by the end of the opening stage. Taking the lead from Busch in the first lap was Noah Gragson of the No. 18 Safelite Toyota, who would go on to lead all 40 laps of the opening stage.
Trouble would start for Gragson in-between stages, however, as the No. 18 truck would struggle out of the pit and slip to fourth place at the start of the second stage. This allowed the rest of the field to change the momentum of the race, and it was here where Busch looked to make his move.
Gragson on his struggle out of the pit in between stages one and two, “I made a mistake there on pit row. Probably cost us a position or two, but I don’t know, everything happens for a reason I guess.”
Starting from the third position in the second phase, Kyle Busch would slip to fourth out of the gate, but gain momentum early in the stage and take his first lead of the race on lap 53. The race looked to be in complete control for Busch, but an opportunity for the rest of the field would arise in the final laps thanks to a caution flag, sending the race to NASCAR overtime.
Prior to the overtime, Kyle Busch was in a race coming out of the pit for the lead, but left too soon and would lose his back-left tire on his way back onto the track. The mistake opened up the race for a new leader, and it would be a fight coming out of the caution. This would be the difference, making way for Brett Moffitt to steal the victory.
Moffitt on the final restart and how he took advantage, “On the final restart I was just trying to get enough space where if he [Matt Crafton] didn’t spin his tires I could still get to the bottom [of the track] and luckily once I got into one I could clear him and clear Johnny [Sauter] and they stayed side by side and we were just able to drive away.”
The win is just the second career NASCAR Truck Series victory for Moffitt, who with the victory has secured a playoff spot at the end of the season.
Next stop for the NASCAR Truck Series is Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which will take off Friday, March 2 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1