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GOTS: Defending series champion Moffitt opens playoffs with win at Bristol

(MRN) Brett Moffitt opened the Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs by winning Thursday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The reigning series champion led 65 laps on the night and held off Chandler Smith to take his third win of the season and first at Bristol.

“To win and get locked in (to next round) is truly unbelievable,” Moffitt said. “This is definitely the best win of the season thus far. We’ve got the next two races where we can go race aggressively and try to go get more points.”

Smith’s runner-up finish was his career best in just his third series start driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Ross Chastain, who won Stage 1, rebounded from a safety violation on a pit stop after the second stage to finish third. He led four times for a race-high 78 laps.

Stewart Friesen finished fourth after getting into the wall on Lap 151 while battling fellow playoff driver Matt Crafton for eighth. Grant Enfinger, who lost the lead to Moffitt with 27 to go, made it four playoff drivers in the top five with a fifth-place finish.

Sheldon Creed, Crafton, Ben Rhodes and Todd Gilliland and playoff driver Austin Hill completed the top 10. Playoff driver Johnny Sauter was able to finish 11th after two incidents in the race that damaged his truck.

Tyler Ankrum was not as lucky as he had a fuel pickup/electrical issue and stalled on Lap 171 after a pit stop. He finished 20th and is now 51 points behind Moffitt in the playoff standings.

For even more on Thursday’s race, visit www.mrn.com.

The race featured 12 cautions for 73 laps.

Top 10 Finishers Thursday

Fin Str Trk Driver Make Laps Pts Status Laps Led
1 1 24 Brett Moffitt (P) Chevrolet 200 59 Running 65
2 7 51 Chandler Smith Toyota 200 49 Running 0
3 2 45 Ross Chastain (P) Chevrolet 200 53 Running 78
4 3 52 Stewart Friesen (P) Chevrolet 200 43 Running 0
5 14 98 Grant Enfinger (P) Ford 200 34 Running 57
6 24 2 Sheldon Creed # Chevrolet 200 31 Running 0
7 11 88 Matt Crafton (P) Ford 200 42 Running 0
8 4 99 Ben Rhodes Ford 200 40 Running 0
9 17 4 Todd Gilliland Toyota 200 28 Running 0

2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Standings

After Race 17: Bristol

Rank Driver Starts Points -Leader -Next Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Points
1 Brett Moffitt (P) 17 2081 0 0 3 3 28
2 Ross Chastain (P) 17 2065 -16 16 3 4 13
3 Stewart Friesen (P) 17 2057 -24 8 1 2 14
4 Grant Enfinger (P) 17 2053 -28 4 0 4 19
5 Matt Crafton (P) 17 2053 -28 0 0 3 11
6 Johnny Sauter (P) 16 2043 -38 10 1 3 9
7 Austin Hill (P) 17 2040 -41 3 2 0 12
8 Tyler Ankrum # (P) 14 2030 -51 10 1 0 5

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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