ASHLEY ASKS…… Grant Enfinger
With one win and seven top-five’s, Grant Enfinger put together a consistent campaign to finish fifth in the year-end NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings. The driver of the No. 98 Champion Power Equipment, Curb Records, and Protect the Harvest Ford F-150 for ThorSport Racing recently talked about his season and more with POPULAR SPEED.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts on the season?
GRANT ENFINGER: I definitely feel like we made a lot of gains from a team standpoint as a whole, along with myself with my crew chief Jeff Hensley. I felt like everybody made good gains. Overall, it was a solid season. Not going to say we’re satisfied until we’re a dominant truck week-in-week-out, but we had a handful races that we could’ve won, should’ve won, but only got it done one time, so that’s not good enough but a huge improvement from where we were in 2017.
We had a lot more speed, could still use a little more at some places, but we gained a lot of speed. I felt like we had a pretty strong mile-and-a-half program by the end of the year. So overall, just our group as a whole and the move to Ford Performance has really elevated our entire team. Not satisfied with the results, but satisfied with the results.
PS: What do you feel your team could’ve done to be even stronger?
GRANT: I think there’s no one thing big issue or no one big thing that we need to get better at. I think it’s more about little details everywhere. Overall, we had a pretty solid consistent year leading into the playoffs. Then in the playoffs, we had good speed, but were less consistent as we didn’t get the results that we needed to at a few of the races – some of that due to circumstances out of our control, but some of that we could’ve done better on the track. So I think we just need to clean up a little bit in a lot of the areas and I think that’s all we’re lacking.
We started out at Canada (Canadian Tire Motorsports Park) and had a little mechanical issue, and then I ran off the track; you know, little setbacks here and there can cost you a good bit of points. So really we just need to clean up what we got and then start taking that and building from there.
PS: How are plans looking for 2019 for you?
GRANT: Everything is looking good. I feel like for the most part everybody is happy. I feel like Duke and Rhonda Thorson at ThorSport are happy. I feel like everybody is pushing forward to do this again next year, but nothing is finalized or set in stone, but that’s the direction it’s looking towards.
PS: That’s good to hear. Now say you’re able to return next year and the same goes as you would hope, what would it mean to you to win the championship?
GRANT: I mean, that’s obviously the goal and one that we won’t be happy until that happens. On top of that, we want to have a dominant year. Obviously, everybody’s goal is to win the championship, but we’d like to end up with four or five wins at the end of the season with a championship, and just be a threat at every race track. Right now, I feel when we unload, we’re going to be a top-five or six truck at any given track we go to.
There were handful of times that we’ve hit it and been a truck capable of winning. I think if we look back this time next year, we’ll be happy if we can show up every time and be in contention and actually bring home four or five wins. That’s what it will take for us to be happy, and that’s what everybody is working towards. Like I said, all those little things – that we’re working right now; we’re polishing and buffering on what we got and not doing wholesale changes in one department.
PS: If you were in charge of NASCAR for one day, what is one change you would make to improve the sport?
GRANT: I guess everybody has their opinions, but I would take away a lot of the downforce we have and give us more horsepower. In the Truck Series especially, we’re running wide open at all these mile-and-a-halves that we got to. I feel like it provides for better racing and it’s not about drafting and momentum, but rather mechanical and set-up. That’s one of the big changes that we’d make is maybe take the splitter off, cut the spoiler in half, and give us 150 to 200 more horsepower.
PS: What is one track you wish was on the schedule that isn’t?
GRANT: Honestly, I feel like I’d like to go to Du Quoin or the Springfield mile that ARCA goes to. We’re already running Eldora in the truck series, and we already have to dedicate a truck to that and pretty much destroy it when you go to Eldora which is unfortunate because the racing is great and I love racing there. But maybe if we had Du Quoin or Springfield before then, you could take the truck there and not have a high of likelihood of doing damage and then take the truck to Eldora. I think as far as a race, it would be a little more cost effective than the racing we do because like I said, all these teams have to dedicate a truck to the dirt race anyway. I think it’d be smart to just add another one in there.
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