NEWTON, Iowa — Brett Moffitt scored his first win of the 2019 Truck season in Sunday’s rain-delayed M&Ms 200.
Although Moffitt crossed the start-finish line in second behind Chastain by 2.7 seconds, Chastain was found to be “extremely low” in the post-race, according to NASCAR, and was disqualified.
Moffitt was awarded the victory, which is his second consecutive victory at Iowa Speedway and first of the season. Moffitt noted that this race was a game changer for him and his team.
“Talking to Mike Beam and Jerry [Baxter, Moffitt’s crew chief], this was already somewhat of a game changer, just the way we executed the race, not to 100 percent but everything was smooth and calm. We were just having a good day. We were already talking about building on that into the future and obviously now with getting a win we can be a lot more aggressive.”
Chastain had won stages one and two, and led the final 141 laps, but his truck was found to be too low in the post-race. Unlike the Cup Series, the Truck Series has a ride height rule but like the Cup Series, a post-race infraction warrants a disqualification. Chastain’s stage wins, Playoff points and $50,000 bonus were stripped, and he was awarded last place points with a points penalty pending. Chastain’s team has until Noon EST on Monday to issue an intent to appeal NASCAR’s decision.
Matt Crafton finished second in Stage 1 and Ben Rhodes finished second in Stage 2. With Chastain’s disqualification, Crafton and Rhodes will each be awarded ten bonus points and one Playoff point for winning the respective stages.
Another highlight of the day came with the fourth and final caution on lap 138. Johnny Sauter and Austin Hill made contact with each other which resulted in Sauter spinning and hitting the wall. Sauter retaliated by wrecking Hill under caution. Sauter was then parked for the remainder of the race and called to the hauler afterwards. Hill would finish on the lead lap in 12th while Sauter finished 27th (one lap led).
Chandler Smith made his Truck Series debut and led the opening 55 laps of the race but faced radio issues. His crew was able to fix the issues under a lap 51 caution for Juan Manuel Gonzalez hitting the wall. Smith rebounded to reach the top 5 and was set to restart second after caution four but a speeding penalty sent him to the rear. Smith would go on to finish eighth.
Raphael Lessard made his third career Truck start today and first for David Gilliland Racing. Lessard scored his first top ten with a ninth place finish and commented on the race afterwards.
“I feel like we were good on short run but as the race went on, we just started getting tighter and tighter, and we struggled with long run speed.”
“It was so hard to pass, that if I could’ve cleared him [the 88] and got in front of him, and started rolling the top, I could’ve maybe had a 6th place finish because everyone was so equal at the end.”
The top 10 finishers were as followed: Brett Moffitt, Ben Rhodes, Harrison Burton, Grant Enfinger, Stewart Friesen, Sheldon Creed, Matt Crafton (led 3 laps), Chandler Smith (led 55 laps), Raphael Lessard, and Todd Gilliland.
Next race for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series is June 22 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (10 PM EST, FS1).