Race Weekend Central

Confidence Runs High for Grant Enfinger Entering Truck Playoffs

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series features two pools throughout the field.

There’s the younger generation — some of them headed for higher series — and the older generation, where veterans are making a career out of the division.

Grant Enfinger fits in with the latter category, as the 38-year-old is currently competing in his seventh full-time season in the series. In that span, Enfinger has seen a lot of success, winning on nine occasions, including four times in 2020, and just locked up his fifth points finish inside the top 10.

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Once at a crossroads in his career in 2021, Enfinger is now in his second season with GMS Racing, earning two wins thus far in 2023 and three since he joined the team. As the NCTS enters the playoffs, the No. 23 driver holds the fifth seed with 17 playoff points.

Enfinger spoke with Frontstretch at Richmond Raceway and expressed confidence in his team for a deep playoff run. He also compared tracks like Richmond to the championship host track of Phoenix Raceway, detailed his NASCAR Cup Series debut and discussed mentoring his young teammates at GMS.

Luken Glover, Frontstretch: You have had success at tracks like Richmond. You obviously have the win at Gateway [World Wide Technology Raceway]. Do tracks like that help you if you are able to make Phoenix for the Championship 4 race?

Enfinger: Oh absolutely, for sure Gateway. [Richmond] transfers as well. Obviously, the fall-off happens a lot more at Richmond than what it is in Phoenix, but it’s the same tires. It’s the same concept of a track, just more tire wear. Definitely [Richmond] and Gateway, there is a lot you can take to Phoenix.

Glover: Take people through the process of how important playoff points are, and what’s the outlook for you as you go into the playoffs?

Enfinger: Yeah, obviously you want to stack up as many [playoff points] as you can. We have 11 and then where we finish in points is what it goes to at this point. You’re talking about three races, three races and one race, so you want as much cushion as you can get.

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We have more than we had last year. We still don’t have enough to feel great about things. But where our confidence is, I feel like, is our organization as a whole, it’s our team as a whole. It’s a spot myself and [crew chief Jeff] Hensley have been in before. So I feel like, overall, we have confidence.

We definitely want as many playoff points as we can get and start building a cushion.

Glover: You also got to make a Cup start at Sonoma Raceway as a substitute for Noah Gragson. What was that whole experience like of getting in a Cup car?

Enfinger: Honestly, it’s a little bit of anxiety for the two-day window that I had to prepare for, but once practice started, I enjoyed it. I thoroughly enjoyed just learning a new craft, a new car. It’s a completely different game than how the Trucks run.

It was a place that I had one start at before, so we raced the Trucks last year at Sonoma. But it was actually an enjoyable experience. I feel like we did our jobs overall. We didn’t make any big mistakes and were able to bring the car home in one piece in 26th. Just a lot of preparation added in a short amount of time.

Obviously, Sonoma is probably not the place I would have picked if they said, “Hey, you get one Cup start. Where do you want it to be?”

It’s probably not going to be Sonoma, but actually, it was fun to drive. You slip and slide on that track. Still wish I could go back and redo one or two spots on the track, but it was a cool experience. 

Glover: You have two young teammates with Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye. Have you been able to mentor them, and what kind of growth have you seen from them?

Enfinger: I think we’ve been able to help each other and we’ve been able to push each other. There have been a couple of races where Daniel has been good, and there’s been quite a few that Rajah has had a lot of speed.

Anytime, I feel like Rajah is asking me stuff every race before and after and asking my opinion on things. He’s asking it with a lot of guys. He’s definitely trying to learn as much as he can.

And Daniel, we’ve talked at tracks he doesn’t have confidence in or hasn’t been to before, we talk a good bit. I think GMS Racing as a whole is a good outlet to have all of our team members talk. As a driver, I’m kind of the veteran guy that’s been in the series for seven years, and I can kind of help those guys along a little bit.

About the author

Luken Glover joined the Frontstretch team in 2020 as a contributor, furthering a love for racing that traces back to his earliest memories. Glover inherited his passion for racing from his grandfather, who used to help former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey in his Richmond, Va. garage. A 2023 graduate from the University of the Cumberlands, Glover is the author of "The Underdog House," contributes to commentary pieces, and does occasional at-track reporting. Additionally, Glover enjoys working in ministry, coaching basketball, playing sports, and karting.

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