Grant Enfinger Scores NASCAR Truck Series Playoff Win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Alabama native scored his second career Truck Series win, but his first of 2018, in the World of Westgate 200.
Grant Enfinger joined Justin Haley as a winner in the first three-race round of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He led a race-high 40 laps of the World of Westgate 200 for his second career series win and first of 2018.
"There's only two of us comfortable going into Talladega, and I'm one of those two," Enfinger said. "It's kind of the culmination of the whole year. We've put together the pieces needed to win a race individually, but not as a whole as a group. The truck was great; we had the best truck out there."
The race was scheduled for a 134-lap distance but was extended to 144 laps by three overtime restarts. The 11th and final caution, one yellow flag shy of a track record, resulted in a 10-minute, 49-second red flag after a multi-truck incident involving Jordan Anderson, Jesse Little, John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, Timothy Peters, and Austin Hill.
Brett Moffitt was the race leader throughout the overtime restarts, but he slowed as his truck ran out of fuel on the final restart of the race and gave way to Enfinger. Moffitt conclusively finished 11th.
Noah Gragson started on the pole and led the first 33 laps of the race, including a stage win at Lap 30. Gragson, though, wound up 18th by the checkered flag.
Enfinger won the second stage. He battled Friesen for the lead early on, but Friesen was able to continue up front. Enfinger finally took command of the lead on Lap 50. Just 33 laps later, Enfinger battled Friesen again up front after yet another yellow flag period, and just before the 100-lap mark, Ben Rhodes battled Enfinger for the top spot. Rhodes was fourth at race's end.
Johnny Sauter commandeered the lead just before a caution on Lap 100, and he fended off Matt Crafton for several laps before losing the lead to Moffitt on a restart around Lap 124. Sauter finished second and Crafton was fifth.
“My restarts absolutely sucked tonight—just awful,” Sauter said. "From first to second gear, it was terrible. The 16 [Moffitt] ran out of gas, and I had to snake around that, and we just lost a little bit of momentum. We‘ve just got a little work to do. Obviously, we had the fastest truck in the last half of the race.”
WORLD OF WESTGATE 200 RESULTS:
1. Grant Enfinger, No. 98 Ford
2. Johnny Sauter, No. 21 Chevrolet
3. Justin Haley, No. 21 Chevrolet
4. Ben Rhodes, No. 41 Ford
5. Matt Crafton, No. 88 Ford
6. Myatt Snider, No. 13 Ford
7. Ross Chastain, No. 15 Chevrolet
8. Austin Theriault, No. 30 Toyota
9. Austin Wayne Self, No. 22 Chevrolet
10. Chris Eggleston, No. 54 Toyota
11. Brett Moffitt, No. 16 Toyota
12. Jennifer Jo Cobb, No. 10 Chevrolet
13. Korbin Forrister, No. 7 Toyota
14. Justin Fontaine, No. 45 Chevrolet
15. Jesse Little, No. 97 Ford
16. Bayley Currey, No. 83 Chevrolet
17. Stewart Friesen, No. 52 Chevrolet
18. Noah Gragson, No. 18 Toyota
19. Timothy Peters, No. 25 Chevrolet
20. Jordan Anderson, No. 3 Chevrolet
21. T.J. Bell, No. 38 Chevrolet
22. John Hunter Nemechek, No. 8 Chevrolet
23. Austin Hill, No. 02 Chevrolet
24. Cody Coughlin, No. 2 Chevrolet
25. Cory Roper, No. 04 Ford
26. Brandon Jones, No. 51 Toyota
27. Todd Gilliland, No. 4 Toyota
28. Wendell Chavous, No. 49 Chevrolet
29. Riley Herbst, No. 46 Toyota
30. Bo LeMastus, No. 17 Toyota
31. Joe Nemechek, No. 87 Chevrolet
32. Tanner Thorson, No. 20 Chevrolet
UP NEXT: After a month off, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to action at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on Oct. 13. That contest will be the elimination race of the first round of the 2018 playoffs, as the crop of championship-eligible drivers will be reduced from eight to six. As winners of the first two races in Round 1, Justin Haley and Grant Enfinger are assured advancement to Round 2. Parker Kligerman is the defending winner at Talladega. Enfinger won there in 2016 while Sauter also has a win at the track, coming in 2013.