Grant Enfinger Collects Awards In East Finale At 5 Flags
By: Ryan Musialowski, arcaracing.com
On a race weekend that was supposed to be all about "new" 2020 ARCA Menards Series East champion Sam Mayer (No. 21 End Stigma/Change Lives Chevrolet), clinching his second consecutive East crown merely by showing up for the Pensacola 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions, Grant Enfinger (No. 77 Champion Power Equipment Ford) tried his hardest to steal the show.
For much of the afternoon Sunday, Enfinger, the 2015 ARCA Menards Series champion, did exactly that. But when the checkered flag fell on both the racetrack and the 2020 East season, fans were treated to the familiar sight of Mayer celebrating his fifth win in six East races this season – all of this despite Enfinger collecting most of ARCA’s special awards from 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
Enfinger entered 5 Flags as a veteran of 95 ARCA Menards Series races, winning 16 along the way, but he had never started an ARCA Menards Series East race. It proved to be no obstacle to him as he recorded a fast lap of 103.087 mph to start from the General Tire Pole for the Pensacola 200.
Enfinger became the fourth different driver to start from the pole position in 2020, joining Chad Bryant Racing teammate Derek Griffith (No. 22 Original Gourmet Lollipops Ford) as one-time pole winners. Mayer and Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota) tied for the yearlong lead with two General Tire Pole Awards each.
Mayer rolled off first in both Toledo events, while Gibbs was at the head of the field at Dover and Bristol.
Enfinger immediately took charge of the race at the drop of the green flag and proved to be quite difficult to pass. He led the first 136 laps, becoming the Richmond Water Heaters Halfway Leader along the way, before Mayer was able to reel him in and take over the lead.
The pair swapped the lead five times over the last 70 laps before Mayer wrestled the spot away from Enfinger for good on lap 188, withstanding a green-white-checkered finish that extended the race to 206 total laps. Enfinger was the Valvoline Lap Leader on the strength of his 175 laps led while Mayer led 31.
By virtue of shutting Gibbs out of the laps led column in the Pensacola 200, Mayer secured the yearlong Valvoline Lap Leader title with 381 laps led. Mayer was the only driver to lead in all six East races in 2020. Gibbs settled for second with 344 laps led across four races, anchored by his performance in the June Toledo race that saw him lead 183 of the 204 laps.
Enfinger’s 175 laps led in his lone appearance of the year placed him third on the season-end leaderboard. Eight different drivers led laps across the six East races this year. The top three were joined by Griffith, Chandler Smith, Max McLaughlin, Michael Self and Bret Holmes in that category.
Full story at: https://www.arcaracing.com/2020/10/12/grant-enfinger-collects-awards-in-east-finale-at-5-flags/