TALLADEGA, Ala. — Grant Enfinger spent many years trying to win at Talladega in the ARCA Series to no avail, but it took 94 laps, excellent performance and attrition from other cars to finally secure the Fairhopes, Alabama native his first victory at the Alabama speedway.
Cole Custer led the field to the green flag at 1:23 p.m. Enfinger wasted no time working his way to the lead as he surged his way past Custer on the outside exiting Turn 2 to lead the first lap. John Hunter Nemechek’s Chase hopes went up in smoke when his engine expired on the backstretch on the 14th circuit of the race, bringing out the first caution. Tyler Reddick opted not to pit and assumed the lead.
The race restarted on lap 20. At the start of the run, the outside line was the weaker line. By lap 34, however, Timothy Peters powered by Reddick on the outside to take the lead. Cody Coughlin, who a lap earlier jumped out of the pack, brought out the second caution on lap 35 after stalling on the backstretch. Custer opted not to pit and assumed the lead.
A lap after the restart with 55 laps to go, Peters took back the lead. Four laps later, a three-truck wreck involving Custer, John Wes Townley and Daniel Hemric brought out the third caution.
It went back green with 46 to go. Ben Kennedy took the lead with 45 to go using a push on the outside line just two laps before another three-truck wreck, involving Dylan Lupton, Cody Ware and Brandon Hightower, in the tri-oval brought out the fourth caution.
Enfinger worked his way back to the lead on the restart with 38 to go before a 14-truck wreck, the Big One, brought out the fifth caution with 35 to go.
The caution flew two more times in the race for a solo spin by Hemric on the backstretch with 10 to go and Matt Crafton blowing an engine on the frontstretch with four to go.
On the final lap, Cameron Hayley got turned by Lupton on the backstretch, slid down the track and slammed the inside wall. The caution didn’t fly and Enfinger drove on to score the victory.
It’s his first victory in 13 Camping World Truck Series starts, his fifth top-10 finish of 2016 and first top-10 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Teammate Spencer Gallagher brought his No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet home runner-up. Timothy Peters was the highest finishing Chase driver with a podium finish in his No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota.
Rico Abreu finished fourth in his No. 98 ThorSport Racing Toyota. Ben Kennedy rounded out the top-five in his No. 33 GMS Chevrolet.
Christopher Bell finished sixth, Johnny Sauter finished seventh, Ryan Truex finished eighth, Matt Tifft finished ninth and William Byron rounded out the top-10.
Hemric finished 11th, Crafton finished 22nd and Nemechek finished last.
The race lasted two hours, five minutes and 54 seconds at an average speed of 119.161 mph. There were 15 lead changes among nine different drivers and seven cautions for 33 laps.
Byron, Bell, Peters, Crafton, Kennedy and Sauter continue on in the Chase. Hemric and Nemechek, however, fail to make the cut to the Round of 6.t1619_unoffres