#02: Brett Moffitt, Our Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro DESTINY HOMES during qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., May 29, 2021.  (HHP/Jim Fluharty)
Brett Moffitt returns to the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday. (HHP/Jim Fluharty)

Brett Moffitt Making Xfinity Season Debut At Hometown Iowa

NEWTON, Iowa — A familiar face is back in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday.

Brett Moffitt, who’s made 85 Xfinity starts over the last three seasons, is making his season debut on Saturday in a one-off for Joe Gibbs Racing, piloting the No. 19 Toyota Supra. It’s a JGR reunion 14 years in the making – Moffitt ran the team’s ARCA Menards Series East entry in 2010, winning twice.

After a full-time Xfinity effort last year with AM Racing, Moffitt’s 2024 schedule has been limited. The former Craftsman Truck Series champion has made two starts for TRICON Garage at that level but has otherwise been out of the driver’s seat.

Safe to say, Saturday’s Hy-Vee Perks 250 is important for the 31-year-old.

“We’re in a very good race team with JGR, but to run a part-time schedule, you have get caught up to speed quick,” Moffitt said in a press conference Friday. “It’d mean the world to me (to win), one of the biggest wins of my career, personally. Just given the circumstances with the lack of racing this year.

“Getting this opportunity in the Xfinity Series, I’ve wanted the chance to win Xfinity Series races for a long time and you know, it never aligned. So to be with one of the best teams in the garage is huge and gives me a lot of confidence.”

And for a little added pressure, Moffitt’s racing just down the road from home.

Moffitt grew up in Grimes, 45 minutes west of Iowa Speedway. He raced go-karts nearby as a kid and parlayed his midwestern lifestyle toward his successful NASCAR career.

“I think the biggest part of it is my father’s work ethic. He instilled that in me at a very early age,” he said. “When we started racing go-karts — It literally just started as a hobby as he worked all the time, and my mom told him he needed something to do. We got to doing that, I started karts and hated it, but a year later, I wanted to do it again.

“I think just the quality of people around here, good people, very family-oriented, hard workers. That has gotten me a lot through my racing career. If I didn’t have that backbone, not sure I’d be here today.”

Iowa was built in 2006 and hosted its first Truck and Xfinity Series races in 2009. Moffitt made his first Xfinity start at the 0.875-mile oval in 2012 and won Truck races in 2018 and 2019. NASCAR didn’t return in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has stayed away – until now.

However, the ARCA Menards Series and the NTT IndyCar Series continued to visit the short track.

“Visually, just driving in, it’s much different. It’s like what I’ve seen on TV with the IndyCar events,” Moffitt said. “Makes me very happy to see this place flourishing. Just hearing rumors of what the attendance will be and how people are trying to get tickets, people I know are trying to get tickets, is inspiring for Iowa Speedway. And being from Iowa, that makes me happy to hear.

“From my perspective, it hasn’t changed a whole lot other than the visuals, but once we get out there on the racetrack and tomorrow for race day, it’ll be a little overwhelming to see how far this place has come.”

Moffitt searches for the first victory of the season for JGR’s No. 19 entry.