If experience is an advantage to winning a championship, look no further than Grant Enfinger among the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series title contenders.
The 35-year-old journeyman racer honed his skills racing late models in the South prior to winning the 2015 ARCA championship. For the last four seasons, the affable Alabaman has climbed the truck ranks with the No. 98 ThorSport team.
Last year, Enfinger won the regular-season title but didn’t advance to the final four. This year, he’s finally earned his shot.
“It’s been a crazy season for us,” Enfinger said. “It’s been a little bit uncharacteristic. I feel like last year and the year before that we kind of prided ourselves on consistency and stage points and didn’t get many wins during the course of those years. I only had one win the last couple of years and this year has been drastically different. We can’t get a dad gum stage point to save our life, but we’ve been able to put ourselves in position and to take advantage of the situations and win four races.
“I’m definitely proud of that. I’d much rather be in this position than the position we were the last couple of years, but I’m just proud we’ve made it to this point.”
Consistency has enabled Enfinger to earn an average finish of 9.2 over his first four full seasons in trucks. While the No. 98 team hasn’t scored as many top fives or top 10s in 2020 or led as many laps as in the last two years, his four wins are by far a career-best.
Although he may have been overshadowed in the past by his two title-winning teammates—Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter—Enfinger is the sole representative from the Sandusky, Ohio-based operation. The focus will be on Enfinger this weekend as he makes his debut in the Championship 4 at Phoenix.
“I don’t feel like we’re entering Phoenix as an underdog,” Enfinger said. “Obviously, only one of our ThorSport trucks made it. We’re going against three GMS trucks. I understand all that and I feel like Phoenix is a good style track for us this year. I feel like we’ve excelled at the short tracks, so I don’t actually feel like we’re going into this as an underdog at all.”
Even though he’s the lone Ford F150 in the championship mix, Enfinger has never been shy behind the wheel of his truck. That’s what makes him such a formidable opponent going into Friday night’s battle.
“I don’t feel like we necessarily have to race any differently,” Enfinger said. “Our strategy going in there is just to win the race flat out. I feel like with the competitors that we’re going against that any one of them are capable of pulling off the win. They’ve all won races this year.
“I feel like at the end of the day that may not be how it looks when the green flags comes out, but I feel like by the time the checkered flag comes out you’re gonna have to have won this race to be the champion.”