Grant Enfinger – 2019 Martinsville Preview

Team Info/Stats: 
Crew Chief: Jeff Hensley
2019 Driver Point Standings: 1st
2019 Owner Point Standings: 1st
Spotter: Chris Lambert
News and Notes:

  • Fast Friday: The No. 98 Champion Power Equipment Ford F-150 unloaded at Martinsville Speedway Friday where it took to the track for two practices. Enfinger posted a 12th-place finish in the first practice and a fourth-place finish in final practice. The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) TruNorth 250 qualifying is slated for Saturday, March 23 at 10:40 a.m. on Fox Sport 1 and the Fox Sports 1 app.
  • Martinsville Minute: Grant Enfinger will make his fifth start at the Martinsville Speedway “Paperclip” on Saturday. In four previous starts the ThorSport Racing driver has a track-best start of third (2018-1), and a track-best finish of fourth (2018-1).
  • Music to our Ears: For the first time in 2019, Curb Records will be the primary sponsor on the No. 98 Ford F-150 at Martinsville Speedway. The label is in it’s 11th season with ThorSport Racing, and their third season with Enfinger.
  • This Week’s No. 98 Curb Records Ford F-150: The No. 98 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 43 for Saturday’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) Martinsville 250 at Martinsville Speedway. This is the same chassis Enfinger piloted at both Martinsville races in 2018, and earned his first pole of the 2018 season at Gateway Motorsports Park. In five starts in 2018, this chassis had one pole, and led 46 laps en route to two top-five and three top-10 finishes.
  • Ford Fact: Ford powered F-150’s have found victory lane 98 times since 1995 in the NGOTS, including five times at Martinsville Speedway with Joe Ruttman (1995), Jon Wood (2003), Rick Crawford (2004), Ricky Craven (2005), and Joey Logano (2015).
  • Hometown Hero: Jeff Hensley, crew chief for the No. 98 Ford F-150 is from Ridgeway, Virginia, which is 10 miles from Martinsville Speedway. Hensley, who has been in the NGOTS since 2004 has called the shots for 30 races at the 0.526-mile track and his success includes two wins (2007 sweep), six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. Additionally, Hensley’s cousin, Jimmy Hensley, won at Martinsville Speedway in the NGOTS on April 17, 1999, after leading 37 laps.
  • Sebring Salute: Enfinger and his ThorSport Racing teammates Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes and Myatt Snider took on the 3.74-mile, 17 turn, Sebring International Raceway in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 on Friday, March 15. Enfinger, who shared a seat with Crafton, piloted the No. 22 Ford Performance/Multimatic Motorsports, Inc. Ford Mustang GT4, to a 15th-place finish, after starting 13th.
  • Enfinger Gets Schooled In Martinsville: Enfinger joined Martinsville Speedway on a tour of the Patrick Henry Community College on Monday, March 18. The Martinsville, Virginia-based school, which crew chief Jeff Hensley attended, has a Motorsports Technology program where students can work with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, as well as build racecars and even work with a late model race team to gain knowledge in motorsports. Enfinger learned more about their program, talked to the students about motorsports and the importance of real world experience, and the importance of starting at the local level and working your way up, but most importantly to never give up on your dreams no matter how many challenges your faced with.
  • Take Me Back – Las Vegas: Enfinger started fourth in the series last stop at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but was forced to the back of the field for the start of the race due to an engine change in practice. Due to pit strategy, Enfinger was able to get his track position back, but a plug wire ultimately came loose at the end of Stage 2, and the No. 98 had to make multiple trips down pit road for repairs. After working his way back inside the top-10, Enfinger lost a right rear tire in the closing laps, and limped home to an 11th-place finish.
  • Truck Series Stats: Enfinger has 63 career NGOTS starts to his credit. His success includes three poles, and 277 laps led en route to two wins, 20 top-five and 37 top-10 finishes.
Chatting with Grant Enfinger:
What are the challenges to getting around Martinsville Speedway?
“Last fall we had a lot of issues and brakes were one of them. You’ve got to be aggressive with the brake pedal if you want good speed, but you also have to save your brakes, so you have something at the end. The other thing is keeping the fenders on the truck, so you have something to race with at the end. If you lose track position in the middle of the race, you’ve got to drive your way to the front, and a lot of times you have to use up your truck to do that. If you want to finish first at Martinsville, first you have to finish.”
What would it mean to win at the Paperclip?
“Jeff Hensley, my crew chief, is from Martinsville, so it’s definitely number one on our list to get a win there. The stars have to line up, and we can’t have any mistakes. Fortunately, we’ve got the points lead coming in, and we’ve got a really good opportunity.”
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