It was ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ for former ARCA champion Grant Enfinger. His dream of winning the Fred’s 250 presented by Coca-Cola 250, NASCAR Camping World Truck series event, his first, in front of his hometown crowd at Talladega SuperSpeedway, came true.
Enfinger, from Fairhope, AL, displayed a strong Chevrolet No. 24 NASCAR truck for most of the race, leading for 45 of the 95 circuits and fending off his GMS Racing teammate Spencer Gallagher in the final two laps by a margin of victory of .108 of a second.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Enfinger, celebrating his first NCWTS win in 13 starts. “It’s my home track. It’s just so special. It’s a brand new truck, which was on the tubing racks two weeks ago. This truck was a rocket ship today and made my job easy.”
The significance of the Chase of 6 narrowed down with so much on the line, as Talladega was the cutoff race in the first segment of three races that makes up the NASCAR Camping World Truck series championship.
The drivers advancing are William Byron (who already had clinched a spot with a victory in the opening Chase race at New Hampshire), Christopher Bell, Timothy Peters, two-time champion Matt Crafton, and Ben Kennedy with Johnny Sauter rounding out the top six. All drivers start fresh next weekend, resetting with 3,000 points each.
John Hunter Nemechek and Daniel Hemric were eliminated from the championship hunt after Nemecheck blew his engine on lap 13, retiring in 32nd place. Hemric, who entered the race below the Chase line, suffered truck damage and remained out of the top 10 in the race, thanks to three separate incidents on Saturday, the most costly of which was a 14-car wreck on Lap 59 that severely damaged his No. 19 Ford truck. He fell 13 points behind Crafton.
The top five in the Fred’s 250 after Enfinger were Spencer Gallagher, Timothy Peters, Rico Abreu, and Ben Kennedy.
“I got behind Grant Enfinger and tried to push him as much as I could,” said Kennedy, who shoved his teammate’s Chevrolet to the front in the outside lane. “I knew the outside line had a little bit of something. I pushed him as much as I could, and once he got out to the lead, that truck was so fast out there. I thought about trying to make it three-wide, but I didn’t really have the momentum to carry it around him.”
Third-place finisher Timothy Peters was the highest finisher among those who advanced, followed by Kennedy in fifth place, as GMS drivers claimed four of the top seven positions.
The first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event in the Round of 6 will be the Alpha Energy Solutions 200 at the half-mile, Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 29, on FOX Sports 1.