Grant Enfinger Successfully Making the Most of Truck Opportunityby Kyle Pokrefky March 7, 2016 1 comment
Just two races into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, rookie Grant Enfinger is already turning many heads with his performance on the track.
While the 2015 ARCA Racing Series champion, 31, is still learning the ropes in the Truck Series, he’s been turning solid results atypical of what’s expected of a rookie. Although he was unable to back up his pole-winning run at Daytona with a solid finish due to a late accident, Enfinger rebounded one week later at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a fifth-place run.
Sitting ninth in points in the middle of a month-long break for the Truck Series, Enfinger exited Atlanta feeling good about his results in the series so far.
“I think overall, it’s been a success,” Enfinger told The Fourth Turn regarding his early Truck results. “There’s been some situations there that you always want to get the most out of, and for the most part we have.”
A winner of 14 races in the ARCA Racing Series – eight of those with GMS Racing, his Truck team – Enfinger’s shot at the national series has been a long time coming. To say he ran well during his championship run in ARCA last year is a serious understatement – he flat-out dominated the series last year.
As Enfinger told The Fourth Turn, he doesn’t view his success right out of the gate as a vindication of sorts, he’s just focused on putting his head down and making the most of the opportunity that he’s been handed.
“I’m just trying to make the most out of this opportunity,” Enfinger said. “Obviously, I’ve been trying and trying and I’m in a really good place here with GMS Racing. I want to make these guys proud. They’ve put their confidence in me and I want to make them proud.
“The other part of that is I want it for me too. This is something that I’ve worked my whole life for and I’m appreciative for the opportunity and I’m trying to make the most of it.”
For the driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado, he has noticed a difference between running the ARCA car and in running the truck; but, as he says, the adjustment to running the Truck has gone well.
“It’s definitely a little bit different,” Enfinger said. “The biggest thing that is different is the air. The two biggest things are the air and the tires. It seems like after Atlanta, the air is even more so important than the tires.
“It took me a little while to get adjusted and see how hard I could really push it in traffic and what I needed to do as far as getting air on the nose and getting air on the right side when we needed it. That’s definitely been the biggest learning curve. Overall, it’s gone very well.”
Enfinger’s surrounded with good company for his Truck run with Spencer Gallagher and Johnny Sauter running for the championship alongside of him and with his ARCA crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz moving to the Trucks with him as well.
A good number of his championship-winning ARCA crew have also jumped up to the Truck level, working with various teams under the GMS Racing umbrella.
Having Stankiewicz back after a tremendous 2015 effort has Enfinger feeling confident going forward given the strong chemistry between driver and crew chief.
“It gives us a little confidence going forth,” Enfinger stated. “I have some learning to do in the trucks, but I do have that confidence there on the pit box and we communicate really well. That’s a big advantage.”
Once the Fairhope, Ala. native fully gets his head around how the Trucks perform, he’s expecting even bigger and better things to come out of the No. 33 stable.
“That’s part of the reason why we’ve been able to start this year out as strong as well as we have,” Enfinger continued. “I’d like for that to continue and once I figure out exactly what I’m looking for out of these Trucks, I think we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with.”
Photo Credit: NASCAR