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NASCAR Truck: ThorSport Racing closes regular season with 1-2-3 finish

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – SEPTEMBER 10: Grant Enfinger, driver of the #98 Champion/Curb Records Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway on September 10, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By AMANDA  VINCENT

Grant Enfinger led a ThorSport Racing one-two-three finish in the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series 2020 regular-season finale at Richmond (Va.) Raceway on Thursday night to claim his third win of the season.

“Definitely a special night for us,” Enfinger said.

Teammates Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes, who won the previous week at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, finished second and third. Rhodes also led a race-high 66 laps of the 250-lap race.

Brett Moffitt and Tyler Ankrum rounded out the top-five. With his top-five finish, Ankrum claimed one of two remaining slots in the 10-driver playoffs. Todd Gilliland claimed the other available playoff spot after finishing 17th, one lap down, in Thursday night’s race.

Drivers who already had their playoff berths clinched ahead of the ToyotaCare 250, either by race win(s) or points include Austin Hill, Zane Smith, Sheldon Creed, Crafton, Enfinger, Rhodes, Christian Eckes and Moffitt. Hill locked up the regular season championship and resulting 15 bonus playoff points with points earned in each of the 70-lap stages. By the end of the race, he was eighth.

RESEEDED TRUCK SERIES PLAYOFF STANDINGS

“It definitely means a lot and that was our ultimate goal coming in here tonight,” Hill said. “After as good as we were in stage one leading those laps, we thought we were going to win stage one until tires got put on, and we fell a few positions back. All in all, it was a really good effort from everyone at HRE (Hattori Racing Enterprises). Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) and all the guys, they worked really hard. Just kind of what we talked about earlier today was at the end of the race it just not falling our way. We really thought a caution was going to come out; we wanted to leave a set (of tires) laying just in case a caution came out with 30 or 40 (laps) to go. It went green the rest of the way, and all those guys pitted. Our Tundra, we just started fighting really free entry and really loose off on the long run. Then, I was just kind of holding on at that point. I was praying for a caution. I think we still had a shot at it if the caution could have come out. If we had 20 or so laps to go, we could have had a shot at the win still. All in all, we did our job today getting the 15 bonus points and the regular season championship, which is really nice to have those bonus points, but kind of stings a little bit, because we definitely felt that we had a better truck tonight than an eighth place finish.”

Hill started on the pole and led the first 65 laps of the race before Smith, on new tires, passed him on lap 66 and took the opening stage win on lap 70. Smith was among the drivers who pitted during the first caution of the race that came on lap 54 for Tim Viens.

Drivers who stayed out during the first caution pitted after the first stage concluded, and roles were reversed. After Smith stayed out, Enfinger and Rhodes, taking tires during the caution after stage one, used that fresher rubber to get by Smith on lap 110. Ten laps later, Rhodes too the lead from Enfinger and won the second stage on lap 140.

Rhodes and Hill stayed out during the fourth and final caution of the race for another ThorSport driver, Johnny Sauter. By that point, Enfinger had fallen off the lead lap because of a tire rub, but during the caution for his teammate, he got back on the lead lap.

Moffitt and Crafton, after pitting during Sauter’s caution, took positions from Rhodes on lap 187. On lap 219, Crafton passed Moffitt for the lead.

After getting back to the front, Enfinger took the lead from Crafton on lap 244, and Rhodes took third from Moffitt for the all-ThorSport top-three.

Codie Rohrbaugh finished sixth, and David Ragan was seventh in his second Truck Series start of the year. TimmyHill finished ninth, and Stewart Friesen rounded out the top-10.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway:

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Posted by on September 11, 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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