Grant Enfinger -- Bristol Preview
You’re the most recent winner in the series. How important is that momentum for you and ThorSport Racing – that has now claimed the last two checkered flags - as you head into the Playoffs Thursday night at Bristol?
“That momentum is huge. We’ve been in a little bit of a slump here the last couple months. We struggled with finding our speed, finding what we wanted from the truck. Jeff Hensley (crew chief) was able to give us that, right from the beginning at Richmond, so that’s great. Even if we had left Richmond without the checkered flag, I was still gonna feel good. I feel like we found some speed, we found some of what we’ve been looking for with the truck. We’ve had the opportunity to be in a position to try some things this year, with winning at Daytona, and I feel like we’ve hit on some stuff. It was great to see ThorSport Racing finish 1-2-3 there at Richmond, that was pretty special.”
As you look towards the first three races of the Playoffs, you’ve won at two of the three tracks. How do you rank the tracks in the first round?
“I feel like for us personally, on the No. 98 ThorSport Racing team, I worry about Bristol, even though I’m a short-track guy, I love the short tracks and Jeff Hensley is great at the short tracks, but for whatever reason, we struggled there last year, even though we finished fifth. We just didn’t have the speed we wanted to. There again though, we’ve learned some stuff this year to help that. Outside of that, I feel really good about Vegas, it’s a place we’ve had success at before and I feel like our mile-and-a-half program is strong. Anything can happen at Talladega, but man that’s a place I enjoy going to – it’s my home track and I always get pumped up for that. Hopefully, we’re not in a must win or even a must finish situation when we get to Talladega. Hopefully, we can solidify our position before we get there.”
You’ve been with crew chief Jeff Hensley for four years now. How does that familiarity with each other and the proven success help you in yet another Playoff appearance?
“I think it’s important. I think mine and Jeff Hensley’s relationship has done nothing but get stronger over the last three-and-a-half, going on four years. I feel like we’re clicking more than we ever have. Not only with the win at Richmond, but the performance, the speed, us working together through the challenges at Richmond, helps us – gives us a boost of confidence going into the Playoffs. It’s not just about us though. We’ve got a great team, that for the most part, has stayed together from when I first went over to ThorSport Racing in 2017. It’s been pretty much the same core group of guys. Man those guys are diggin’ hard, workin’ their tails off. When you get into the Playoffs, at these higher levels, it’s all about the details, it’s not all about the wins and the big stuff, it’s the details. Our guys are doing those things that really add up and really count right now.”
Thursday night will be your 100th series start in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Do you remember start number one? What do you remember about being in the national spotlight for the first time in 2010 at Talladega?
“2010 at Talladega (Superspeedway), yes, I made a big splash there at the end. We wrecked a lot of trucks there at the end, but ran good all day – we were fast. I believe that was the time when I ran for Danny Gill, which happened to be an F-150 as well. I’ve ridden this roller coaster for so long, so it’s definitely going to be special. I didn’t realize it was going to be my 100th series start at Bristol, until about a week ago, but there were a lot of times that I didn’t think I would have this kind of opportunity, especially not a great one like I have right now at ThorSport Racing. It’ll definitely be special…It’s crazy how things unfold and life turns out, but I’m very blessed to have the career I’ve had.”
Crew Chief: Jeff Hensley
2020 Reseeded Driver Point Standings: 4th
2020 Reseeded Owner Point Standings: 4th
Spotter: Chris Lambert
Bristol Motor Speedway Starting Position: 1st
News and Notes:
100th Series Start… Grant Enfinger, who made his first NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series start at Talladega Superspeedway in 2010, will make his 100th series start in Thursday night’s UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics at Bristol Motor Speedway. In 99 career starts, Enfinger has led 678 laps led en route to five wins, five poles, 34 top-five and 62 top-10 finishes.
On The Pole… For just the sixth time in his career, and the first time at Bristol Motor Speedway, Enfinger will start from the pole position in Thursday night’s 200-lap event in “Thunder Valley.”
Welcome To The Playoffs… For the third consecutive season, Grant Enfinger and the No. 98 ThorSport Racing team earned a spot in the 2020 Gander Trucks Playoffs. Enfinger, who is seeded fourth in the Playoffs, is a mere seven points behind leader. Zane Smith entering the first of three races in Round 1 (Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway), which kicks off Thursday night at Bristol.
Three Wins In 2020, Three Types of Tracks… Enfinger has three wins in 2020 – one superspeedway (Daytona International Speedway), one intermediate (Atlanta Motor Speedway) and one short track (Richmond Raceway). Additionally, there are three types of race tracks in the first round of the Playoffs; a short track, and intermediate and a superspeedway. Not to mention, the ThorSport Racing driver has a win a two of those three tracks, Las Vegas (2018) and Talladega (2016)…
Welcome Aboard… Advanced Distribution Services (ADS), who specializes in reliable, responsive and efficient fulfillment for their partners, and Lucas Oil, the world leader of high performance lubricants and problem solving additives, announced on Tuesday, they will adorn the No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford for the first race of the Playoffs at Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday.
Thunder Valley Stats… Enfinger will make his fourth start at “Thunder Valley” in Thursday’s 23rd annual UNOH 200. In three previous starts, the ThorSport Racing driver has two top-five and three top-10 finishes, including a track-best start of fifth (2018) and a track-best finish of fourth (2017).
This Week's No. 98 ADS/Lucas Oil/Curb Records Ford F-150... The No. 98 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 43 for Thursday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. This is the same chassis Enfinger piloted at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, finishing eighth, last month.
Music To Our Ears… Curb Records recording artist Lee Brice will make his fourth appearance on board the No. 98 Ford F-150 in Thursday night’s UNOH 200. To preview his single, Hey World, visit: Curb.com.
2020 Stats… In 16 starts this season, Enfinger has led 104 laps en route to three wins (Daytona, Atlanta, Richmond), six top-five and nine top-10 finishes, with an average finish of 10.3.
Take Me Back – Richmond… Enfinger started fifth, based on a performance-based metric, finished second in Stage 1 and Stage 2, and led 18 laps en route to victory lane, in his track debut at Richmond Raceway.
Ford Fact… Ford powered F-150's have found victory lane 104 times since 1995 in the Gander Trucks, including five times at Bristol with drivers Joe Ruttman (1995), Carl Edwards (2004), Mark Martin (2006), Brad Keselowski (2014) and Ryan Blaney (2015).