Sunday, June 22, 2014

Enfinger pointed the way at Elko Speedway

By Dean Reller

Grant Enfinger from Fairhope, AL, made his first trip to Minnesota in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards,a memorable one as he turned in nothing short of a dominant effort as he overcame early adversity to win the Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care at Elko Speedway.  Fifteen-year-old J.J. Haley turned many heads as the young driver out qualified everyone and started the race from the pole.  At the wave of the green, it was outside polesitter Enfinger who took the race’s early lead.  On lap three, Enfinger, Justin Boston, Austin Wayne Self and Mason Mitchell tangled in turn one to bring out the first of the race’s 5 cautions.  Enfinger and Mitchell pitted and rejoined the race at the tail of the field. 

Josh Williams inherited the lead through a couple of more cautions that happened in the first 30 laps of the race.  Tom Hessert took the lead shortly after a restart on lap 36.  Enfinger worked his way back into contention as he began to challenge Hessert for the lead.  On lap 43, Enfinger regained the top spot as he and Hessert ran together at the head of the field.  Defending race winner Frank Kimmel and Kyle Benjamin made contact in turn four to bring out yet another caution on lap 67.  When the race resumed, so did the battle between Enfinger and Hessert.  Enfinger was able to shake off Hessert as only the top five cars remained on the lead lap.  John Wes Townley brought out race’s final caution when he spun coming out of turn four.  All the leaders pitted taking on four fresh Hoosier tires with Enfinger narrowly beating Boston off pit road for the lead. Enfinger continued to show the way as he opened up the lead, leaving the race for second to be the one to watch.  Boston’s car began to fade as Hessert and Haley would get by in cautionless final 91 laps.  By the time the checkered flag waved, Enfinger had nearly a half of a lap lead as he took the win by 6.258 seconds over Hessert, Haley, Boston and Ken Schrader.

Here are audio interviews with Enfinger, Haley and Hessert after the race done by Dean Reller on KRWC radio

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