Grant Enfinger Edges South Carolina’s Jordan Anderson In Photo Finish At Daytonaby Hunter Thomas February 15, 2020 0 comments
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In a thrilling photo finish, Grant Enfinger edged South Carolina’s Jordan Anderson by a mere 0.010 seconds to win the NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night.
With just three laps to go in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season opener, a 14-truck pile-up set the field up for a NASCAR Overtime finish. Once back to green, competitors shuffled lanes trying to find their way to the front of the pack. After the field took the white flag and barreled into Turn 1, Enfinger led the way, while Ross Chastain got loose and slid up the track behind him. The mishap allowed for Anderson, who was leading the bottom lane, to move into the second position.
Down the backstretch, Enfinger and Anderson were nose-to-tail. As the two drivers exited Turn 4 for the final time, Anderson shot to the outside of Enfinger and challenged him for the win. Anderson nosed ahead, but then Enfinger slammed the side of his truck to block the move. The two drivers glued doors, and when they reached the finish line, it was ThorSport Racing’s Enfinger with the advantage by only 0.010 seconds. The win marked the third victory for Enfinger and the 100th for Ford in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
“Unbelievable feeling,” Enfinger said. “Our hundredth win for Ford in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, so unbelievable for them. More importantly, the 25th anniversary for Dick and Rhonda, how much they put into this sport. God has blessed us with a great opportunity to come out here and we were able to pull it off tonight. We had a great F150 all night long.”
As for Anderson, he had to move money around over the off-season just to purchase the truck that he competed in. The finish marks his best-ever in the series. The Forest Acres, South Carolina native has been competing in the series since 2014, but in 2015, he took a leap of faith and began competing as full-time as possible, racing in 17 to 22 of the 23 events on the schedule each season. Since Anderson’s first Truck Series race, he has competed in more than 100 events and has become one of the more popular drivers among fans.
“I came here 2015 and emptied my bank account to try to come down here and run, and to be in a position to even go for a win at Daytona, man, I’m a kid that just wanted to go racing from South Carolina. Wally Rogers (crew chief) and all my guys, John Bommarito and everybody at the Bommarito Automotive Group, we’ve got K‑Seal, a new sponsor, first time with us. Capital City Towing, so many people, Randy Knight, that believe in us. You know me, man, I’m usually not speechless, but God is good.
“When you look at our race team and the opportunities that we’ve had, and it’s just because people have come in and believed in what we’re doing and what we’re trying to do and God has put the right people in our path, and all you guys that follow me, man, on Facebook and Twitter, all you guys in America, it’s truck night in America that keep me going, man. The journey isn’t easy but it’s worth it. Embrace the journey.”
Anderson was going to follow Chastain on the final lap, but the mishap certainly changed his plans. Once Chastain slid up the track, Anderson began setting Enfinger up for the wild finish.
“I thought I set him (Enfinger) up good,” Anderson said. “We tried to follow Ross to push him and I know he got loose, and I got on Grant’s bumper there coming off of (Turn) 4 and got a good run. I’m like, man, this is like NASCAR Thunder 2003 (video game) all over again. I’m like, I can do this, and I pushed him out of the way.”
Finishing behind Enfinger and Anderson was Codie Rohrbaugh who had a tremendous save in the race. Derek Kraus and Natalie Decker who finished fourth and fifth respectively, earned their best series finishes. Last year’s winner, Austin Hill finished sixth, followed by Johnny Sauter, Ross Chastain, Sheldon Creed and Jason White.
The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will be back in action on Friday, February 21 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the Strat 200 will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 9 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images