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Grant Enfinger Survives Wild One at Daytona for Runner-Up Finish

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Grant Enfinger (98) Three-Wide during opening practice at Daytona International Speedway. Photo: Erick Messer / TRE

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Caught up in the big one, and seemingly out of it after falling multiple laps down, Grant Enfinger almost found his way into Victory Lane on Friday night.

Enfinger came up one position short, instead walking away with a second place finish behind Austin Hill in the NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

“I gave (Matt) Crafton a good shove there right after the green flag,” Enfinger said. “Austin had too big of a lead at that point, and I was like, perfect, we’re going to end up 1-2 right here. Honestly, he (Hill) threw some major blocks that had to get Crafton checked up, and if I would have gone in, I would have wrecked us.”

“I feel like that was probably our best opportunity to make something happen.”

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Starting the day in the fifth position, Enfinger would not move far by the end of each stage.

In Stage One, Enfinger finished in fifth, and earned six stage points.
In Stage Two, a sixth place finish earned the No. 98 Ford an additional five stage points.

Entering Stage Three, Enfinger, along with his ThorSport Racing teammates Johnny Sauter, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, and Myatt Snyder found themselves still in contention for the victory.

Everything changed on lap 55.

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Multiple casualties in the “Big One” on Lap 55 at Daytona International Speedway. Photo: Erick Messer / TRE

The “Big One” struck, and sent Enfinger into the melee, along with his teammates Sauter and Snyder. The latter two would not complete the next green flag lap, but Enfinger continued on, falling multiple laps down in an attempt to fix as much damage to continue.

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Grant Enfinger comes in for service after taking damage in the Lap 55 accident. Photo: Erick Messer / TRE

Four more cautions, and Enfinger found himself in the “Free Pass” position to get one of his two laps back on lap 95.

The very next caution on lap 100 put Enfinger back on the lead lap as the race went into overtime.

Not a lot of trucks were left at this point, and another caution in the first overtime dwindled the field even more. By the time the field got the final restart, only nine trucks were left on the track, all mostly tore up.

In the final two lap dash, Enfinger couldn’t get around the blocks made by Hill, and settled for second place.
Enfinger will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway three points out of the points lead, second in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Drivers Standings.

Justin Melillo View All

Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com

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