The 2018 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Champion has a home for 2019. It just feels right, even if it feels dreadfully unjust that Johnny Sauter is left scrambling for a ride. Moffitt ousted Sauter from his ride at GMS Racing this week.
During a teleconference on Thursday, we finally learned more details about how and when Moffitt wound up at GMS Racing.
Moffitt, 26, talked about how long his off season felt not knowing whether he would have a full-time ride for this upcoming season.
“It was a long off season not knowing if or where I would end up. Thankfully at kind of the 11th hour this deal came together with GMS,” Moffitt said. “I’ll be able to go back and try to defend my title in 2019. I’m looking forward to it.”
According to Moffitt, the deal began to go in motion during the holiday season.
“It was honestly super last minute. I didn’t know about it long. It started in between the holidays,” Moffitt explained. “They just wanted to see what I could bring to them and what they could do for me and if I was still available. We were able to work something out.”
Judging by that quote, it certainly sounds like GMS Racing made first contact with Moffitt about the ride.
When he was sent packing, Sauter reached out to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and he discussed that he was being let go because another driver was bringing in sponsorship, something he has never provided for the team.
How much sponsorship is Moffitt really bringing to the table?
“I do have a few existing partners that have been with me through the years that I believe are going to be on the truck,” said Moffitt. “I’m not sure how often this year. But probably a little bit at least.”
Moffitt did not name said existing partners, and he was very non committal on those companies even actually being sponsors for GMS Racing in 2019. It certainly paints a cloudy picture for fans of Sauter, who were bummed that their driver was cut for Moffitt.
However, for Moffitt, before the GMS Racing deal came along he was weighing his options and none of them sounded super appealing — especially considering he is coming off of a six-win championship campaign.
But he did have some full-time options for lower-level NASCAR Xfinity and Cup Series teams.
“None of them that would necessarily lead to me being in race-winning equipment, which is what I wanted ultimately,” Moffitt said. “A few opportunities in less than impressive Cup stuff. We had talked with some Xfinity teams as well. The biggest thing for me is to go out and try to compete for a championship and win races. I was kind of holding out and hoping a deal like this would come together.”
Once Moffitt weighed in his mind that he didn’t want to just be another car on the track, and that winning was the only thing that mattered he actually strongly considered running part-time in rides that were capable of winning races instead.
Moffitt would go on to say that the GMS offer was the best thing that came his way all off season, and truly talks about running for the organization have been ongoing off and on since he ran an Xfinity Series race for them at Iowa in 2017.
“Just kind of always been in talks on-and-off,” Moffitt said. “When this opportunity opened up to them, I believe I was the first person they called about it. I’m just glad we were able to make it happen.”
Moffitt will have an opportunity to chase his second-consecutive championship driving the No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.