ARCA’s Moffitt Eyes Truck Series

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, January 17 2021

Thad Moffitt has been certified to race in NASCAR Trucks series. (File Photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Thad Moffitt, the grandson of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, revealed during the recent two-day ARCA test at Daytona International Speedway that he has been certified by NASCAR to compete in its Camping World Truck Series.

However, the 21-year-old Moffitt’s opportunity at a “handful” of Truck races this year with David Gilliland Racing hinges solely on sponsorship acquisition. He already has sponsorship for the first 12 ARCA Series events and would like to obtain funding for the entire season with his primary goal being to compete for the ARCA title with DGR.

“I think the first 12 carry us to August and then, hopefully, we can get the back half of the season,” the fourth-generation driver said. “It’s tough to sell sponsorship when you can’t bring the people to the track and they can see it (due to the pandemic). When they can see it it’s much easier to get them to buy into it.”

In ARCA’s two-day test at Daytona International Speedway, Moffitt was third fastest in his DGR Ford on Friday with a 182.648-mph lap, 49.275 seconds. On Saturday, he was eighth quickest at 182.786 mph, 49.238 seconds.

“Our single-car speed is phenomenal,” Moffitt said. “In the draft, we suck up well, but there is like a buffer, say half a car to a quarter of a car, when you get in that air bubble and we’re having trouble breaking that bubble. Our car kinda stalls out once you get half a car back like the car in front of you. It drives great. We just need a little bit more in the draft … to win the race.”

Ever since the 2.5-mile Daytona track opened in 1959, it has been a special place for the Petty family. Moffitt’s great grandfather, Lee Petty, won the inaugural Daytona 500. Richard Petty won 10 races at Daytona, including a record seven Daytona 500s. Moffitt’s uncle, Kyle Petty, won the 1979 ARCA season opener in his series debut.

“It’s beneficial to me to have so much family history at this track,” Moffitt said. “I think it’s beneficial to have people who have won races here and know how to win here in my ear kinda telling me what to do.

“Daytona is a lot of give and not a lot of take, and people don’t realize that. If you try and take like you do on a short track, you’re going to end up wrecking the whole field and that’s usually what happens.”

Moffitt noted his grandfather was always the first to tell him when he “messed up” and the “last one to tell me when I do something right.” 

“But that’s what Grandpas do, right?” Moffitt said with a smile. 

The ARCA Menards Series drivers return to Daytona in February for the season opening Lucas Oil 200. For the first time, the race will occur on the same day as the NASCAR Xfinity Series opening event, Feb. 13. The ARCA race is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start and will be televised on FS1. The Xfinity race follows at 5 p.m. on the same network. 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, January 17 2021
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