Shigeaki Hattori Racing comments after the small operation takes it the the super teams and wins the 2018 NASCAR Truck Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Shigeaki Hattori: “Money is part of car racing. But, it’s not only money.”
Brett Moffitt won back to back races at the end of his 2018 NASCAR Truck Series campaign. With the win last night at Homestead, his 6th of the season, Moffitt has been crowned the 2018 NASCAR Truck Series champion.
The team is tiny. They were up against the super teams of NASCAR and they beat them. How? The small group of less than 10 full-time employees put in 12 hours a day during the closing bid of the championship run.
“The effort that these guys put in, when we didn’t even know if we were going to make it to the track. Then, we show up that week and win the race at Chicago,” driver Brett Moffitt stated from the media center after the win.
“Just everything we’ve been through. I don’t think everyone understands. When we say we have 9-10 full-time employees, that’s the last three to five weeks, they’ve been working seven days a week and working until midnight if need be. More times than not, they were doing that.”
“I’m fortunate to drive the truck. But, those guys, they kill it,” Moffitt concluded.
NASCAR Truck Series crew chief
Ahead of the championship weekend, Scott Zipadelli was asked if he was nervous.
“Nope, I’m not nervous. We’re really not even suppose to be here. We’ve exceeded all expectations,” crew chief Scott Zipadelli stated.
“Some of the teams out budget us. We did it with people and heart. These guys worked. I mean, I had to kick them out of the shop at one-o-clock in the morning because I was exhausted.”
“Starting at 5:30am. And everybody’s happy. Who’s happy working that many hours? I mean, they want this,” Zipadelli concluded.
NASCAR Team Owner
Shigeaki Hattori is the team owner. He has been flying from the US to Japan in search of funding for his American based race team.
He’s secured enough to keep the team afloat. Now, in his second year of the full-time portion of the NASCAR Truck Series operation, he’s a champion as a team owner.
Hattori is the 15 different owner to win a NASCAR championship. He’s the first Japanese man to claim the award.
“It’s taken a long time since I started my own team. We missed the K&N championship in 2012. We were leading on the last lap. So damn, we missed it. Today, we did it,” says NASCAR team owner Shigeaki Hattori.
“Money is part of car racing. But, it’s not only money. I think this sport is definitely a people sport. We have a small group. But, we have good people. Today, our hard work paid off.”
“Since we finished the race, I got 20 text messages and a phone call. It’s not broadcasted in Japan. But, they are checking a website,” Hattori concluded.
Brett Moffitt on 2019
Moffitt doesn’t have a ride secured for 2019. The champion is unsigned for next year as he looks to move up the racing ladder.
“I’m confident in my ability. That if I get the right opportunity I can go win Xfinity and Cup championships. I’ve spent most of my career in non-race-winning equipment.”
“As soon as I got in race winning equipment, we won a championship.”
Ilmor Engine in NASCAR Truck Series
The team has taken the 2018 NASCAR Truck Series championship with a spec engine. The Imore was introduced earlier this year. It was a way of helping the smaller teams reduce engine costs.
The big teams still run custom built engines. Yet, the spec engine beat them all. That didn’t come without complaints from the teams with custom engines.
And some of those teams have converted to Ilmor engines along the way. It didn’t help.
“As the season went on, it didn’t bother us. But, it was more and more of a joke when they were complaining about the rules changes.”
“We won Phoenix. The guy that ran 7th, wanted to complain about it when he got beat by five other Ilmor motors. He had an Ilmor in it tonight. I don’t know where he finished. But, he didn’t beat us.”
“So, I don’t know what his excuse is now,” the 2018 NASCAr champion driver concluded.