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NASCAR Truck: Grant Enfinger wins, champ four set at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – OCTOBER 30: Grant Enfinger, driver of the #98 Champion/Curb Records Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 30, 2020 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Grant Enfinger was among the drivers needing a win to advance to the championship four in next weekend’s NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season-finale at Phoenix Raceway. He completed that feat Friday night in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The win was Enfinger’s fourth of the 2020 season, as he joined previous round of eight race winners and GMS Racing drivers Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed, along with rookie Zane Smith, another GMS driver, as a championship contender.

“It was tough; we knew we were going to have to take our gloves off and fight for this one,” Enfinger said. “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.”

One of Enfinger’s ThorSport Racing teammates, Ben Rhodes, also was in a must-win situation at Martinsville to advance. But Rhodes wound up second to his teammate at the checkered flag. 

“We had a shot, but first off, congrats to Grant; they worked their butts off all year,” Rhodes said. “They have three wins; this is their fourth. They deserve it. We were racing as hard as we can. Didn’t have the speed we needed, but we hung around, and my team had good strategy all day long. It’s just unfortunate.”

Three ThorSport drivers finished in the top-five at Martinsville, with reigning series champion Matt Crafton in fifth. With Enfinger’s win, Crafton wound up three points shy of defending his title at Phoenix.

Smith finished third and wrapped up the 2020 Truck Series Rookie-of-the-Year honor by making the championship four. Christian Eckes finished fourth.

Creed was up front at lap 50 to win the opening stage and led a race-high 65 laps of the 200-lap race, but after a spin after contact with Enfinger while the two raced Moffitt for the lead, Creed finished eighth Friday night.

After his stage win, Creed was forced into an unscheduled pit stop by a flat tire about halfway through the second 50-lap stage, handing the lead over to Smith. Pit strategies varied through two cautions in the second half of the second 50-lap stage, putting Crafton and Stewart Friesen first and second for a restart with two laps remaining in the stage. Friesen took the lead on that restart and won the second stage at lap 100.

Enfinger and another of his ThorSport teammates, Johnny Sauter, led early in the second half of the race. Sauter, though, suffered a flat left-rear tire after contact with Carson Hocevar inside the final 50 laps.

Raphael Lessard took the lead from Enfinger on lap 182, but contact with Rhodes on lap 192 resulted in the 11th and final caution of the race and put Enfinger back into the lead.

Friesen finished sixth, Danny Bohn was seventh, Austin Wayne Self ninth, and Derek Kraus rounded out the top-10.

Tyler Ankrum and Austin Hill also were eliminated from championship contention at Martinsville. Ankrum finished 12th, and Hill wound up 35th after falling out of the race after lap 117 because of an engine issue.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at Martinsville Speedway:

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Posted by on October 31, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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