Grant Enfinger -- Pocono Raceway Preview
Chatting with Grant Enfinger...
What is your take on going to Pocono Raceway this weekend and what are some nuances that you have to be mindful of?
“Man, I’ve always loved going to Pocono but as a driver, it’s a huge challenge. It used to be all about getting off Turn 3 but in my opinion, with the new engine package that we have now, we’re bogged down so much through Turn 1 that I think Turn 1 is just as important as Turn 3. So, your kinda playing that balance game, from a crew chief standpoint, trying to get Turns 1 and 3 balanced. Then it seems like a lot of times, Turn 2 is more in the driver’s hands, just from how you can attack that corner and how you can approach it. But the dogleg there, as a driver, your holding your breath. It’s a crazy feeling. It’s such a challenge for a driver because all three of those corners are so drastically different and you have to compromise a lot. So, it’s definitely fun. I know sometimes the races get spread out there but the restarts bunch us up together and then going into Turn 1, on a restart, especially in one of these Gander RV & Outdoors Trucks, is something special.”
What’s your assessment of your race team and ThorSport Racing so far this season?
“I feel like our speed and our on-track performance, overall, has been decent – not great, but decent. We definitely have a few weak spots we need to correct, and that’s what we’re working on this week. Our results on the 98 team have been extreme’s, we’ve got two wins and then three finishes outside the top-10. I feel like some of that are circumstances outside of our control and some of it is stuff we can control. I feel like overall we’re doing what we need to do, we’re doing what we lacked last year. Last year we had all the consistency in the world, but we lacked getting to victory lane, but we’ve been able to overcome that a couple times already this year. So, I’m very happy with the trajectory that we’re on but yes, there are mistakes here and there that I’m making, that we’re making as a group that we need to clean up.”
What is your priority for any given race now that your team is locked into the Playoffs?
“The priority is more Playoff Points, to put ourselves in an even better position. Now, how that happens is a few different scenarios; obviously during a specific race the only way you can get Playoff Points are with stage wins and race wins, so that’s first and foremost, but those regular season points still matter. That’s how we’re gonna finish the regular season and there are Playoff Points accumulated from that too. So, we don’t wanna give up any stage points per se, but if there is a situation where we feel like we can short pit in Stage 2, to put ourselves in a better position to win the race, we’re able to do that now, and that’s a great feeling for not only me behind the wheel, because I can be more aggressive, but also for Jeff Hensley (crew chief). There have been some times over the years where he’s wanted to make some gutsy calls and we couldn’t because we were kinda limited. We had to play the points game first and then go for wins. This year we’ve already won, so we can go for more wins and be more aggressive doing that.”
News and Notes:
Tricky Triangle Stats... Grant Enfinger has three NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series starts to his credit at Pocono Raceway since 2017, including a track-best start of fifth (2018) and a track-best finish of sixth (2018). In three series starts at the “Tricky Triangle,” Enfinger has two top-10 finishes, an average start of 9.0 and an average finish of 9.7. Additionally, the ThorSport Racing driver has eight ARCA Menards Series starts, which include 25 laps led, en route to one win (2016), five top-five and seven top-10 finishes.
2020 Playoff Outlook… Enfinger remains the only Gander Truck Series regular to earn Playoff Points after five races in 2020. The Alabamian, who has 11 Playoff Points, is also the only regular series driver with a stage win.
This Week's No. 98 FarmPaint.com/Curb Records Ford F-150... The No. 98 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 42 for Saturday’s 60-lap event at Pocono Raceway. This chassis was last seen at Atlanta Motor Speedway, site of the No. 98 teams last win.
Truck Series Stats… Enfinger has 88 career Gander Truck starts to his credit since 2010. His success includes 622 laps led en route to four wins, five poles, 30 top-five and 55 top-10 finishes.
Take Me Back – Homestead… Enfinger started third, based on a random draw, finished fourth in Stage 1, and ninth in Stage 2, but an issue on a late-race pit stop relegated the ThorSport Racing driver to a 17th-place finish in the Baptist Health 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Ford Fact… Ford-powered F-150's have found victory lane 101 times since 1995 in the Gander Truck Series, including one win at Pocono Raceway with Ryan Blaney in 2013.
Crew Chief: Jeff Hensley
2020 Driver Points Standings: 3rd (-48)
2020 Owner Points Standings: 4th (-57)
Spotter: Chris Lambert
2020 Playoff Points: 11
2020 Stage Points: 40 (ranked 4th, overall)