Grant Enfinger was in the right place at the right time.
When leaders Ty Majeski and Zane Smith came together in the closing laps, Enfinger moved up to the lead of Saturday’s Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. And he held on in an overtime restart to secure the win by .256 seconds.
“[Crew chief] Jeff Hensley made great calls and overall just a just a great day, and the stars aligned,” Enfinger said.
In addition to his second win of the season, the win earns Enfinger the Triple Truck Challenge bonus of $50,000. Plus, if he can win the final race of the Challenge, he’ll earn $150,000. But that wasn’t on his mind during the race.
“I forgot about that, to be honest with you right now,” Enfinger admitted. “It’s just so hard to win these races. And if it was about money, we’d have quit a long time ago. But thank you so much to Craftsman for that.”
“Thank you to everybody for keeping on believing in us. It’s been a rocky year. But these last five races, I feel like we’ve come to our own.”
More on his mind was the news that he and Michelle are expecting another child, something he announced after celebrating on the frontstretch.
“Life is good,” Enfinger said.
With five laps to go, Ty Majeski spun and collected leader Zane Smith with an over-aggressive move for the lead on the restart. It continues a trend of getting collected by other drivers and bad finishes that Smith has complained about.
“Yeah, it’s just a bummer,” Smith said. “I mean, I kind of did it to myself staying in this series. It is pretty unbelievable how scary some of these guys are. We’ve just had, now, four bad weeks – some self-inflicted, but our day obviously snowballed once we get around some of these guys. It’s just frustrating.”
As for Majeski, he wasn’t proud of the move that ended up with Smith finishing 20th and Majeski 30th either.
“Restarts were my struggle all day,” Majeski explained. “Hit the splitter, had to check up, and went up the racetrack. Obviously when you go up the racetrack, his side took the air from mine, and I went around and wrecked us both.”
“Inexcusable,” he added. “I misjudged it. I’m disappointed in myself… Just inexcusable. Got to be better.”
With Enfinger inheriting the lead, Christian Eckes moved up to second. Despite a fight on the overtime restart, he wasn’t able to move any further up. Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar, and Chase Purdy rounded out the top five.
One headline result was a ninth-place finish for Jesse Love. The 18-year-old scored a top-ten in his first-ever Truck Series start, substituting for a sick Corey Heim.
Though Smith and Majeski’s wreck shaped the race, it was far from the only wreck in a race that featured 12 cautions.
Another notable impact involved Hailie Deegan. On lap 86, just past halfway, Deegan was pushed hard into the third turn, sending her around as she battled around the outside of the top ten. Despite the strong run, she ended up out of the race and scored 32nd.
“We were on a stretch and it worked out. We were on older tires, got track position, and I feel like we showed that all day — just getting track position. We finally had it. We were holding them off pretty decently.”
She said that Sanchez “hit me once, hit me again and shipped me off. It destroyed our truck. Ended our day. I don’t know. It is what it is. Can’t change it. We’re trying to do our part and just got shipped.”
The Truck Series returns at Nashville Superspeedway on June 23rd. It’s the final race of the Triple Truck Challenge.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Race – Toyota 200
World Wide Technology Raceway
Saturday, June 3, 2023
1. (10) Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 162.
2. (3) Christian Eckes, Chevrolet, 162.
3. (5) Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 162.
4. (4) Carson Hocevar, Chevrolet, 162.
5. (8) Chase Purdy, Chevrolet, 162.
6. (15) Matt DiBenedetto, Chevrolet, 162.
7. (2) Ben Rhodes, Ford, 162.
8. (9) Nick Sanchez #, Chevrolet, 162.
9. (20) Jesse Love, Toyota, 162.
10. (7) Jake Garcia #, Chevrolet, 162.
11. (17) Daniel Dye #, Chevrolet, 162.
12. (22) Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 162.
13. (13) Taylor Gray #, Toyota, 162.
14. (25) Bret Holmes #, Chevrolet, 162.
15. (35) Rajah Caruth #, Chevrolet, 162.
16. (12) Tyler Ankrum, Toyota, 162.
17. (11) Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, 162.
18. (27) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 162.
19. (29) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 162.
20. (6) Zane Smith, Ford, 162.
21. (14) Tanner Gray, Toyota, 162.
22. (23) Lawless Alan, Chevrolet, 162.
23. (32) Josh Reaume, Ford, 161.
24. (18) Toni Breidinger, Toyota, 161.
25. (34) Matt Crafton, Ford, 160.
26. (28) Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 160.
27. (26) Chris Hacker, Chevrolet, 159.
28. (33) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 159.
29. (21) Jack Wood, Chevrolet, 158.
30. (1) Ty Majeski, Ford, Accident, 155.
31. (30) Stephen Mallozzi, Ford, 146.
32. (19) Hailie Deegan, Ford, Accident, 86.
33. (24) Conner Jones, Ford, Accident, 66.
34. (16) Dean Thompson, Toyota, Engine, 20.
35. (31) Clay Greenfield, Chevrolet, Accident, 0.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 80.74 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 30 Mins, 29 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.256 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 11 for 61 laps.
Lead Changes: 11 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Majeski 1-32;G. Enfinger 33-37;T. Majeski 38-43;Z. Smith 44-45;T. Majeski 46-61;S. Friesen 62-71;G. Enfinger 72-85;Z. Smith 86-89;G. Enfinger 90-127;T. Majeski 128;Z. Smith 129-154;G. Enfinger 155-162.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Grant Enfinger 4 times for 65 laps; Ty Majeski 4 times for 55 laps; Zane Smith 3 times for 32 laps; Stewart Friesen 1 time for 10 laps.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 23,98,99,38,25,15,19,4,42,52
Stage #2 Top Ten: 52,98,2,19,99,88,23,15,43,17
- Cole Custer holds on in ‘crazy’ Overtime finish to earn first Xfinity Series Championship - November 4, 2023
- Phoenix Raceway is ready to dash hopes and crown a champion - November 2, 2023
- Landon Cassill settles cryptocurrency lawsuit as the law changes - October 31, 2023