For Fairhope, Alabama native Grant Enfinger, his victory in last year’s fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway was fulfillment of a childhood dream. Now, for the driver who grew up being the track’s biggest fan, he aims to add to his legacy when he and the rest of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) return to Talladega for this year’s version of fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, Oct. 14.
“Coming to Talladega as a kid, I dreamed of winning here,” said Enfinger, who actually started competing at the 2.66-mile venue in 2009 in the ARCA Racing Series. “A lot of my family and friends have come here in recent years to watch us compete. Winning last year was special and something I’ll remember for the rest of my life, but to make it two victories at a place that is so meaningful to me would be incredible. Not to mention, it’s the most fun speedway racing you can have.”
Enfinger played the role of spoiler last fall. Driving for a team that only ran in eight races in 2016, he led a race-high 45 laps and used a push from Ben Kennedy to surpass his then teammate, Spencer Gallagher, to take the lead with two laps to go. As they raced towards the checkered flag, Enfinger denied a charge by Gallagher and won by just 0.107 second.
“Unbelievable feeling for sure, getting this win means the world to me,” Enfinger said after his first victory at NASCAR’s Most Competitive venue. “My racing career started as a fan up here (at Talladega). Everything at this place happens in the blink of an eye, and what’s been a good day can turn bad really quickly. I’ve been through those roller coasters at Talladega where you think you can make something happen, and then it gets taken away from you. So, whenever you do break through and get that victory, it makes it that much more special.
“Last year, all the stars aligned, and it worked out for us,” added the driver, who this year sits 10th in the title standings, driving full-time behind the wheel of No. 98 ThorSport Racing Toyota. “To come here and have all my friends and family watching, it was a pretty cool way to win.”
Can Enfinger make it two straight? Find out on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 12 Noon (CDT).
Talladega’s NASCAR Playoff weekend kicks off on Friday, Oct. 13 with practice sessions for the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola and Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) events. After Saturday’s fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola race, the field of eligible playoff contenders will be trimmed from eight to six at the checkered flag. The weekend will conclude at 1 p.m. (CDT) on Sunday, Oct. 15, with the running of the Alabama 500, the “Wildcard” in the Round of 12 of the MENCS playoffs and six-time Talladega winner Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final start at the fabled facility.