Moffitt takes Truck win in Atlanta on Busch's pit mishap
By CHARLES ODUM
HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) Kyle Busch lost the lead - and his left rear tire - on a late pit stop, opening the way for Brett Moffitt's improbable win Saturday in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Busch was leading when Josh Reaume hit the wall with six laps to go. The caution presented an opportunity for late visits to the pits for the leaders.
Busch's crew first put on right-side tires. He pulled away before the crew was finished with his left rear tire. The tire came off before Busch could return to the track. He then backed up on pit row with sparks flying from underneath the truck.
Using the inside lane, Moffitt took the lead on the restart and pulled away in his Toyota for his second career win.
"I was able to make up a lot of ground there and just get under people," Moffitt said. "... It seemed like our motor was really good on restarts."
It was team owner Shigeaki Hattori's first career win.
Noah Gragson finished second. Like Moffitt, he made the most of the restart.
"I came from ninth and I think I was second halfway down that straightaway," Gragson said.
Johnny Sauter, who won last week's race at Daytona, was third.
"I felt like we were in the right position and it just didn't work out," Sauter said. "That's racing. ... When you have a shot to win you feel like you need to capitalize on it. I didn't do that tonight."
Ben Rhodes was fourth.
Busch, who started from the pole, was denied his 50th career Truck victory. He finished 21st.
Busch also will start from the pole in Sunday's Monster Energy Cup race.
For more AP racing coverage: http://racing.ap.org
Updated February 24, 2018
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