DOVER, Del. — A pair of rookies took center stage Friday at Dover International Speedway: Brett Moffitt came away with the Sunoco 150 checkered flag and Ryan Truex earned the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Series East championship.
Truex, a 17-year-old development driver for Michael Waltrip Racing, finished eighth on Friday but it was the performance throughout the 11-race season that put him in the championship Winner’s Circle following the Sunoco 150. Truex finished his first season in NASCAR’s top development series with three wins and eight top 10s.
The main championship contender for Truex – Eddie MacDonald – finished one position behind Truex in the race and wound up 34 points out of the championship (1,719 – 1,685).
Jody Lavender was the third driver to enter the day with a mathematical chance at the championship, 102 points back of Truex. His race ended with a 17th-place finish, seven laps down.
Friday’s season finale was dominated on the track by Moffitt, also 17. The Grimes, Iowa, native led four different times for 85 laps and crossed the line two and a half seconds ahead of Ryan Gifford for the Sunoco 150 victory. The second win of the year placed him third in the season standings.
Following Richard Childress Racing development driver Gifford across the line at Dover was Corey LaJoie, David Mayhew, and Alan Tardiff. Steve Park, Ryan Duff, Truex, MacDonald and Jarit Johnson rounded out the top 10.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto set the track qualifying record earlier in the day and led three different times for 31 laps, but a mid-race accident left him two laps down in 11th.
With the 2009 season complete, the next racing event on the schedule for NASCAR Camping World Series teams will be the 2010 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown on Jan. 29-30 in Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.).
Truex and the rest of the NASCAR touring series champions will be honored at the Touring Series Gala in Concord, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 14.