TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)
Ty Norris & Brett Moffitt -- Notes & Quotes
Michigan International Speedway – June 13, 2014
TY NORRIS, executive vice president of business development and general manager, Michael Waltrip Racing
What is Brett Moffitt’s future with MWR?
“Brett (Moffitt) has been doing quite a bit of testing for us in various forms. We’ve seen a lot of progress in him -- he was very successful for us when he drove for us in the K&N Series and even then we always felt that he should be the next driver to get the opportunity to go to the Truck Series, the Nationwide Series, but unfortunately MWR doesn’t own a Nationwide team or a Truck Series team so an opportunity came available to run him in the Cup car at Dover with our relationship with Jay Robinson Racing. Brett was as good as we thought he was going to be and very, very impressive. We decided to bring him up here (Michigan) and run with a full MWR effort and just kind of see where he goes. In the meantime, we’ve decided to go ahead and put him under contract with a multi-year driver contract to try to advance his career and try to see if we can give him some opportunities to showcase his talent. You’ve seen a lot of young drivers come through -- he’s as good as any of them. He raced against Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson and some of those guys in the K&N East Series. We feel that given the right opportunity just like those guys have received great opportunities, he could show to be very fast and a very competitive race car driver at the Sprint Cup level.”
What will Brett Moffitt’s schedule look like the rest of this season?
“It’s hazy a bit. What we decided to do is put him in a contract without trying to nail down a schedule at first. After this event we will probably try to run him at least three or four more times this year out of the MWR camp. I don’t know how many times he’ll run the 66 any other time. He might run another four or five races this year at least, but it will have to be the right place at the right time with the right resources supporting it. He probably won’t run again until at least August because at the same time Jeff Burton is going to run for us at New Hampshire and we’re still trying to figure out the whole schedule of the 66.”
What will Jeff Burton’s role be with the team now that Brett Moffitt will also be a driver of the No. 66?
“Jeff Burton’s role is that he is going to continue to work with the 66 and with Michael Waltrip Racing -- he’s going to be racing New Hampshire for us, but he’s also going to be working with Brett (Moffitt) when Brett does get the opportunities to help coach him and use his experience to help him fast track to understand. It’s going to take someone with Jeff’s experience to help work with Brett to get him comfortable racing through the event and thinking through the event and know how to race certain people at certain places so Jeff’s experience is really going to help Brett when he does get those handful of opportunities the rest of this year.”
BRETT MOFFITT, No. 66 Let’s Go Places Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing What does this opportunity mean to your career?
“It’s a really big step in my career and I’m really excited to get this going. It’s a weight lifted off my back and off my shoulders as far as every year I don’t really know what I’m doing so it’s nice to have something done and complete that’s for the next several years and it’s just a lot of stress gone. It’s nice to know I have something.”
How has the communication been with Brian Vickers and Clint Bowyer?
“I’ve worked with Brian (Vickers) quite a bit more than I have with Clint (Bowyer). Clint’s really helpful -- he’s always giving good input to me, but then Brian breaks everything down so complex that sometimes it’s almost too much information, but as a rookie it’s great to learn all of it and hear about everything. He’ll come up with things that I haven’t even thought to ask him so that’s what’s really nice about Brian is how he breaks everything down. It prepares me for things I haven’t even thought about. He’s been really good to bounce ideas off of and sometimes I’ll just go sit in their haulers and listen to them talk and try to relate to some of it between Brian and Bill (Scott, crew chief). He’s been really helpful.”
What are your expectations for this weekend?
“We were really fast in race trim. I kind of raised up the expectations in my head, but I feel like the big picture goal is just to finish the race similar to Dover. Try to earn the respect of other racers and just get out of here with a clean car. Hopefully at the end of the day it’s a good finish, but those are the two main goals.”
How big does this step feel in your career?
“Considering I have one Nationwide race and two Truck races under my belt -- going straight from the East Series to Cup is a big step. I feel like if you’re with a really good team and a team that believes in you like Michael Waltrip Racing does with me then I think you can make that transition. Obviously I would rather have run a year or two of Nationwide to get the experience at all these tracks because the biggest thing is that I’ve never been to this track before. I’m used to the car through the testing program so I know what to expect there.”
CONTACT (on-site at Michigan International Speedway) Lisa Hughes Kennedy, 704-902-6476, firstname.lastname@example.org