Starting Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Gateway, Grant Enfinger and crew chief Jeff Hensley were in agreement that they didn’t have a Chevrolet Silverado strong enough to visit victory lane.
Even though it ended up taking a strategy call, plus some late-race luck – when Zane Smith and Ty Majeski crashed from the lead with less than 10 laps to go – the Fairhope, Alabama native will get to hoist a trophy in victory lane for the second time this season.
Driving the No. 23 Chevrolet Silverado, Enfinger was able to benefit from the misfortune of the Ford Performance teammates late in the race to return to the top spot, a position he held for a race-high 65 laps on Saturday.
Then, in NASCAR Overtime, Enfinger was able to keep a hungry Christian Ecked behind him during a two-lap shootout to capture his ninth career victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and his fourth for GMS Racing.
Eckes was able to maintain a second-place result during NASCAR Overtime, while Stewart Friesen was able to perfect a two-tire strategy in order to finish in third place, marking his third top-five in the last five races.
Carson Hocevar continued a solid string of runs with a fourth-place finish, his fourth consecutive finish inside the top five in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. On Sunday, Hocevcar will debut in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving for Spire Motorsports.
Chase Purdy rounded out the top-five, after battling back from running near the back half of the top-10 throughout the majority of Saturday’s 162-lap contest. Matt DiBenedetto finished sixth, while Charlotte winner Ben Rhodes came home in seventh. Nick Sanchez, driving for Rev Racing, posted an eighth-place finish.
Jesse Love, making his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in place of Corey Heim, finished inside the top-10, largely thanks to a strategy call by Scott Zipadelli. The ARCA Menards Series full-time driver finished ninth.
Jake Garcia recorded another top-10 finish for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing in 10th.
Leaving Gateway, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has two off-weeks before returning to competition at Nashville Superspeedway later this month. Despite not racing this weekend, Corey Heim holds a one-point lead over Ty Majeski.
Grant Enfinger, Zane Smith, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five in points as the series gets a couple weeks to evaluate where things stand in their programs.