NGROTS: Grant Enfinger Wins at Martinsville, Advances Into Round of 4
Grant Enfinger survived chaos all evening at Martinsville Speedway on Friday to score his sixth career NASCAR Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series victory and secure an opportunity to race for the championship at Phoenix Raceway next weekend. Enfinger, piloting the No. 98 Champion / Curb Records Ford, led the field for 49 circuits.
Joining Enfinger as the three Playoff drivers at Phoenix are Zane Smith, Sheldon Creed, and Brett Moffitt. Pole sitter Sheldon Creed finished eighth on the leaderboard while Brett Moffitt took home the 28th spot as a result of an accident. Smith, leading 20 of the 200 circuits, finished third.
“It was tough, we knew we were going to have to take our gloves off and fight for this one," Enfinger said after the victory. “It’s been an up and down season for us, but we tended to peak when we needed to. And now I feel really good about our chances at Phoenix."
Enfinger scored his fourth win of the season and goes into the season-finale next week with eight top five and 13 top 10 finishes.
Looking to get into the Playoffs at Phoenix next week, Ben Rhodes sat runner-up behind teammate Grant Enfinger. The Kentucky native, trading paint with Enfinger on the final restart with two laps remaining, could not find the momentum to get around his teammate for the lead.
“We had a shot, but first off, congrats to Grant [Enfinger] they worked their butts off all year," Rhodes said regarding his teammate. “They have three wins, this is their fourth, they deserve it.
Christian Eckes and Matt Crafton, also looking to advance to the Round of Four at Phoenix, rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10 finishes were stage two winner Stewart Friesen, Danny Bohn, stage one winner Sheldon Creed, Austin Wayne Self and Derek Kraus.
Making his 12th career Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series start on Friday, Danny Bohn scored his second career top 10 finish. Bohn’s previous best finishing position was one spot back in eighth at Martinsville Speedway in October 2019.
Austin Wayne Self made it back-to-back top 10 finishes in two races at Martinsville under the lights. Self sat seventh last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway and took his No. 22 Chevrolet to a ninth-place finish on Friday.
A total of 11 caution flags flew during the 200 lap, 105.2-mile event at Martinsville. In addition to 11 yellow flags, there were nine leaders for 16 total lead changes at the line. 82 of the 200 laps were under yellow while 118 of the 200 laps were under green.
Austin Hill was another driver looking to advance into the Round of 4 at Phoenix on Friday at Martinsville. However, with 83 laps to go, engine issues forced the No. 16 team behind the wall.
“We aren’t 100% sure what happened, but it was definitely blowing up on us. The first stage, I thought we had a tire going down maybe,” Hill said. “We lost some track position and then got back to the lucky dog and then as soon as I got to the lucky dog, we started blowing up. It started cutting in and out, so I guess it’s those really great built Ilmor engines. They like to breathe fire. It’s just frustrating to potentially end your season on an engine failure like that.
The No. 16 Toyota finished 35th as a result.
There were no issues during post-race inspection.
The next race for the series will be Friday, November 6th at Phoenix Raceway. The Lucas Oil 150 will take place at 8:00 p.m. ET. live on FS1 and MRN Radio.
Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.
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