Could a driver who has won two of the first nine Truck Series races of 2018 not be present for the 11th race of the season next weekend?
It’s a viable question regarding Brett Moffitt, who won a week ago at Iowa. Moffitt’s Hattori Racing Enterprises team is a single-truck team searching for sponsorship. It seems possible the team won’t be at Chicago in a week if it doesn’t find a sponsor for the race.
“It’s a hell of a question,” Moffitt said when asked if his Iowa win helped with his team’s sponsor search. “I think it opened doors and brought light to the situation with a lot of positive feedback. Many people have been kicking in trying to help find those connections and partners but we’re still uncertain. I think our deadline is the end of the weekend on basically whether we can make it happen or not. We’re definitely talking to some people but we’re unsure if it will happen or not.”
Drivers who win a race are locked into the playoffs, assuming they compete in all of the season’s races. NASCAR has given drivers waivers for injury exceptions but never in the case of a team’s lack of funding. If Moffitt is forced to miss a race or two over the summer, would NASCAR be willing to let the driver and team run for the championship?
It should seriously consider it. It’s not a good look if a driver who is in the top five in points and has won multiple races in the first half of the season can’t compete in the playoffs because the financial model in the sport is wrecked. The financial margin for error in NASCAR’s No. 3 series is slim-to-none. Purse money by itself can’t sustain a race team or pay a competitive team’s expenses.
HRE’s funding issues also continue a disturbing Truck Series trend. The series’ depth has taken a massive blow in recent years as Red Horse Racing and Brad Keselowski Racing have shut down because of sustainability concerns.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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