Monday, June 24, 2024

Grant Enfinger capitalises on late scramble to win Gateway

Grant Enfinger was greeted with a welcome sight as Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway neared its conclusion: Ty Majeski and Zane Smith colliding and wrecking as they battled for the lead with just five laps to go. Enfinger inherited the top as a result, and held off Christian Eckes in overtime.

Enfinger led the most laps with 65 and won Stage #1, but Majeski and Smith were the class of the final segment before they tangled.

“I didn’t know what his plan was there,” Smith said. “I saw an interview earlier where at this track he has more experience here than any others. He still races like it’s his first time here. We see time and time again that the guy on the bottom has to be a little conservative, and that’s why the leaders always choose the top. Maybe he’ll learn next time.”

Majeski took responsibility for the wreck, explaining that he was dealing with “low air pressures and we had the splitter bent, got into turn three obviously trying to get ahead of the #38, hit the splitter, had to check up, and went up the race track. When you go up the race track, his side took the air from mine, and I went around and wrecked us both. Inexcusable, I misjudged it. Trying to win the race and obviously wrecked two really good Ford F-150s. I’m disappointed in myself. Got to execute when you have the fastest truck by a mile like that. Just inexcusable. Got to be better.”

With the two out of the picture, Enfinger had to keep Eckes and Stage #2 winner Stewart Friesen at bay. Upon successful, he notched his second win of 2023 after winning at Kansas in May.

ARCA Menards Series points leader Jesse Love finished ninth in his series début, driving the #11 TRICON Garage Toyota in place of the ill Corey Heim. Toni Breidinger, a last-second replacement in TRICON’s #1 that Love was originally going to race before the driver shuffle, was twenty-fourth.

Due to Majeski’s crash, Heim remains the championship leader despite missing Gateway, though only by one point. Enfinger sits third and trails Heim by nine.

Clay Greenfield was collected in a first-lap accident to abruptly end the maiden race for GK Racing. The crash occurred when Rajah Caruth clipped Bret Holmes, and Greenfield lost control of his truck as he tried to avoid them.

Race results

Finish Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Status
1 10 23 Grant Enfinger GMS Racing Chevrolet 162 Running
2 3 19 Christian Eckes McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet 162 Running
3 5 52 Stewart Friesen Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota 162 Running
4 4 42 Carson Hocevar Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 162 Running
5 8 4 Chase Purdy Kyle Busch Motorsports Chevrolet 162 Running
6 15 25 Matt DiBenedetto Rackley WAR Chevrolet 162 Running
7 2 99 Ben Rhodes ThorSport Racing Ford 162 Running
8 9 2 Nick Sanchez Rev Racing Chevrolet 162 Running
9 20 11 Jesse Love TRICON Garage Toyota 162 Running
10 7 35 Jake Garcia McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet 162 Running
11 17 43 Daniel Dye GMS Racing Chevrolet 162 Running
12 22 9 Colby Howard CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet 162 Running
13 13 17 Taylor Gray TRICON Garage Toyota 162 Running
14 25 32 Bret Holmes Bret Holmes Racing Chevrolet 162 Running
15 35 24 Rajah Caruth GMS Racing Chevrolet 162 Running
16 12 16 Tyler Ankrum Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota 162 Running
17 11 41 Bayley Currey Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 162 Running
18 27 56 Timmy Hill Hill Motorsports Toyota 162 Running
19 29 20 Matt Mills Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 162 Running
20 6 38 Zane Smith Front Row Motorsports Ford 162 Running
21 14 15 Tanner Gray TRICON Garage Toyota 162 Running
22 23 45 Lawless Alan Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 162 Running
23 32 33 Josh Reaume Reaume Brothers Racing Ford 161 Running
24 18 1 Toni Breidinger TRICON Garage Toyota 161 Running
25 34 88 Matt Crafton ThorSport Racing Ford 160 Running
26 28 12 Spencer Boyd ThorSport Racing Ford 160 Running
27 26 02 Chris Hacker Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 159 Running
28 33 6 Norm Benning Norm Benning Racing Chevrolet 159 Running
29 21 51 Jack Wood Kyle Busch Motorsports Chevrolet 158 Running
30 1 98 Ty Majeski ThorSport Racing Ford 155 Accident
31 30 34 Stephen Mallozzi Reaume Brothers Racing Ford 146 Running
32 19 13 Hailie Deegan ThorSport Racing Ford 86 Accident
33 24 66 Conner Jones ThorSport Racing Ford 66 Accident
34 16 5 Dean Thompson TRICON Garage Toyota 20 Engine
35 31 95 Clay Greenfield GK Racing Chevrolet 0 Accident
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points