|NASCAR K&N Pro Series East leader Brett Moffitt|
Brett Moffitt sits atop the the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship standings with just four races remaining. He has visited Victory Lane twice in 10 series starts this season, and recorded an impressive eight Top-5 and nine Top-10 finishes.
And now, it appears he may be out of a ride.
The 19-years old Grimes, Iowa native was informed by his Hattori Racing Enterprises team this week that they cannot continue to field his No. 11 Toyota this season without additional sponsor support. Teammate Sergio Pena, who ranks ninth in championship points, will continue to compete.
Team owner Shigeaki Hattori confirmed today that Moffitt may have reached the end of his championship trail, saying, “We are looking for sponsorship. We would like to finish up both programs (for Moffitt and Pena), but we need money. Sergio will continue to run, and maybe we’ll be able to finish with Brett, too. But we’re not sure.
“Our contract with Brett was only for eight races, and I spent money out of my own pocket for the last two. The budget is pretty tight right now, and we need some help.”
This is Hattori Racing’s first full season of competition on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, fielding cars for Moffitt and Pena out of a 25,000 square foot shop in Mooresville, NC, with a staff of 12 employees.
“I just found out on Monday,” said Moffitt. “I was in shock when they told me. I knew money was tight, but I figured that with us leading the points, they’d find a way to push through and keep racing. But I guess not.”
In three seasons of competition on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Moffitt has never finished worse than third. Despite driving for different teams in his three K&N East campaigns, he finished third in points in 2009 and 2011, and second behind champion Ryan Truex in 2010. In 43 career starts, he has accumulated nine wins, 28 Top-5 and 33 Top-10 finishes. He leads Kyle Larson by 20 points heading into the series’ next race, the G-Oil 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 22.
“The team is still looking (for money), and so am I,” said Moffitt. “If we come up with some, that’s great. But it’s tough on this short notice. It seems like there is always a speed bump in the road, and I guess we just hit it. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s going to happen at this point. We’re working on some things right now, but there’s certainly nothing confirmed.
“It’s a nerve wracking time, not knowing if we can keep going.”
Photo: NASCAR Home Tracks