Grant Enfinger is our guest on Fan4Racing NASCAR & Race Talk on Monday, June 6, 2016 at 9 pm ET. Call 929-477-1790 or tweet @Fan4RacingSite with any questions or comments during our LIVE broadcast.
Holding off a hard-charging rookie, the veteran ARCA Racing Series champion Grant Enfinger brought the GMS Racing No. 23 to the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible200 checkered flag and victory lane on Friday, June 3rd. The rookie, Austin Cindric was gaining ground over the last ten laps, forcing Enfinger to race hard on the last three laps while trying to save enough fuel to finish the race.
“We didn’t have the car to do it with…we made so many wholesale changes to the car over the week to get here,” Enfinger said. “We were losing fuel pressure with 20 to go…it never hiccupped but we had already made our bed. We pushed ourselves into a fuel mileage situation, so we took advantage of it.”
Changing four tires just once on lap 30 and topping off the fuel on lap 37, Enfinger expertly stretched his tires and fuel to go the distance remaining in the 200-mile race.
“We went nearly 50 laps on the General Tires today. We weren’t necessarily expecting to do that, but the General Tires held up great and got us to victory lane.”
Playing out an entirely different strategy, Cindric took four tires and a full tank of fuel on lap 50 expecting to race the rest of the event without stopping again. Racing consistently as the fastest car on the track Cindric caught up to within inches of Enfinger in turns two and three of the last lap to challenge the leader.
“Without a doubt, he was saving fuel,” Cindric said. “We had the fastest car all week. Really wanted to get to victory lane but congratulations to Grant.”
So with a victory in sight, did the rookie, Cindric consider moving the No. 23 for the win?
“Of course I thought about it…every driver thinks about it…but I’m here to prove I’m a good driver, not wreck people. But it was the first thing that came to mind when we came out of turn two. I have no idea how Grant made it (on fuel), but he did a great job.”
From the other side, Enfinger says he was never worried about Cindric wrecking him for the win, but was ready to race hard for the win.
“Austin’s a clean driver…I wasn’t worried about a bump,” Enfinger said. “We were conserving fuel over the last 20 laps. Obviously when he showed up about ten lengths behind with three to go, we had to give it all we had. We were prepared to make it very difficult to pass us coming to the line, if need be.”
Brandon Jones battled from a lap down to finish third, with Dalton Sargeant in fourth and Brady Boswell rounding out the top-five finishers. Kyle Benjamin, Justin Haley, William Byron, Myatt Snider and ARCA point leader Chase Briscoe completed the top-ten.
Marking the Pocono as first superspeedway for the new composite body in ARCA Racing, Enfinger admitted teams were uncertain of what to expect at the faster speeds.
“Obviously, there were some big unknowns with the composite bodies,” Enfinger said. “We have a lot to learn about the cars on speedways and today was a great step in that direction. We learned last year’s set-up with the steel cars doesn’t work on the composites. We struggled all week but worked really hard and made some good gains. We were two- and three-wide during the race. My initial impression is that the car gripped-up really good.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is the Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, June 10th.