Brett Moffitt is the defending Truck Series champion. Tyler Ankrum brings up the rear of the playoff grid as the rookie dark horse. ThorSport Racing has three drivers, including two former champions, title eligible. Ross Chastain is the story many can’t get enough of.
But what about the guy who was the best of them all in the regular season?
That was 34-year-old, third-year driver Grant Enfinger who led the points for all but three weeks during the regular season. Although he failed to get to victory lane, Enfinger has quietly put together a competitive season in which he leads the series with an average finish of 7.6.
“Quietly” being the key word. Or is it overlooked?
“I don’t really know, and I’m not very sure if anybody really cares on our team,” Enfinger told RACER. “We’re kind of digging along by ourselves and not really worried so much about what the outside world thinks, just doing what works for us. Sometimes that’s against the grain, but it’s been working, and we’ll keep down the path we’re on.”
But make no mistake, not having a win is a thorn in Enfinger’s side. The No. 98 team has done everything but as Enfinger has led laps (236), has completed 96.3% of the laps he’s run this year and has seven finishes of fourth or better in 16 races.
“It’s definitely a thorn in our side, but yeah, we can live with it,” said Enfinger. “I feel like we’re doing everything right – the wins will come. I don’t necessarily think we need to really go down any path we’re not on already; just keep inching away at it.”
So now comes the playoffs. Enfinger is seeded second behind Moffitt by three points.
“He’s just solid, he’s always there,” said Moffitt about Enfinger’s season.
Enfinger was fourth and 10th in his previous two visits to Bristol Motor Speedway, the host of the first race in the playoffs. He does not have a top-10 finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (race number two) whereas Enfinger was victorious last year at Las Vegas (the first elimination race) and 11th earlier this season.
Sizing up the first round, Enfinger thinks a driver can point his way to through to the second round. But he wants to win, and in the second round, and certainly at Homestead, Enfinger believes that is going to be the way to success. And according to Enfinger, while he’s so far had a solid year, his team still has a ways to go.
“We’ve had winning speed four or five races this year, all the other ones we’ve made the most out of what we’ve had,” he said. “There’s only been a couple of three times that we’ve all the way missed it, but we have a team capable of winning a lot, and we’re not consistency there yet. I’m not going to be happy until we are.
“Myself, [crew chief] Jeff Hensley, everybody at ThorSport Racing is working to get there, and like I said, there’s been a handful of times we’ve had the speed we’ve been looking for we just haven’t had it as consistently as we’d like to. I don’t think it’s really anybody’s fault or anything like that, everything is going the right direction we’re just not peaking. But we definitely can do that here in the playoffs.”