Enfinger takes checkered flag in ARCA Mobile 200
By Official Release On Sat, Mar. 09, 2013
(IRVINGTON, Ala. - March 9, 2013) — Grant Enfinger used a rocket re-start with fewer than 30 laps remaining and held off a late challenge from Kyle Benjamin Saturday afternoon to win the ARCA Mobile 200.
Enfinger, a local crowd favorite, took the lead on lap 172 when he ducked under 15-year-old Kyle Benjamin, then used another re-start with nine laps to go to stretch his lead and win his first-ever ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event.
“I knew we were going to get here, I just didn’t think it would take this long,” Enfinger said in Victory Lane. “I started knocking on the door in 2009 and I don’t know how many second and third-place finishes I had.”
After Enfinger drove the Triple K Construction Ford into victory lane, a throng of family and friends surrounded him. Some of the loudest cheers came when he donned a University of Alabama Crimson Tide ball cap.
Anderson Bowen finished third, Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell winner Mason Mingus fourth and Frank Kimmel fifth.
Enfinger is from nearby Fairhope, Ala. and considers Mobile International Speedway a home track.
“I’ve wanted to win for so long,” he said. “To do it in front of the home crowd is something special. A lot of these people, family and friends, can’t come up north when we race. This is something special.”
Enfinger started second but took the lead by turn two of the first lap. He stayed out front much of the day, although Benjamin put a big challenge into him. During one of the longest green flag runs of the day, Benjamin was able to pass Enfinger. He pitted and still came out in front as his pit crew cheered him on. But, with 29 laps to go, Enfinger was stronger on the re-start and stayed in front the rest of the way.
“He was a little better than us on new tires,” Benjamin said. “I hated that the caution came out right there. We did all we could today.”
Benjamin, the SCOTT Rookie Challenge winner for the ARCA Mobile 200, was driving the same Venturini car that went to victory lane at Daytona International Speedway with John Wes Townley. He became the youngest driver in ARCA Racing Series history.
“I’m happy with my team and my crew chief,” Benjamin said. “They did an awesome job and Kevin made great calls. We had an almost flawless day.”
Bowen was another driver that stayed up front all race. He was driving in his first ARCA race.
“I feel like I accomplished my goals,” he said. “We kept our car in one piece and had a nice top five finish.”
There were a few on-track incidents. Spencer Gallagher and James Hylton were involved in one mishap. The cars of Cody Lane and Bo Lemastus also sustained damage during the day.
Michigan teenager Taylor Ferns started fifth and was running up front for much of the day when her got was damaged with 12 laps to go.
“It was so much fun,” she said. “It’s too bad what happened at the end, but I learned a lot. I like the longer races, it feels like its more of a team effort.”
Race promoter Tommy Praytor was pleased with the crowd and the race.
“Everyone here saw some great racing today,” he said. “There was a lot of two and three-wide racing in the corners. It’s not an easy track to get around, but I think it was a hometown guy using some of his hometown experience to get around the track and picking up his first win.”