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Local Sports

Trucks points leader Enfinger looks for improved run at Iowa

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Grant Enfinger leads the series points race heading into Iowa Speedway this weekend. Enfinger finished fourth at Iowa last season and seeks his third win overall in the series on Saturday night.
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Grant Enfinger leads the series points race heading into Iowa Speedway this weekend. Enfinger finished fourth at Iowa last season and seeks his third win overall in the series on Saturday night.

Grant Enfinger finished fourth in the truck race at Iowa Speedway last season and was 11th in 2017.

Both times though Enfinger felt like he was driving a 10th place truck.

Enfinger, who is the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points leader through nine races, is looking for a better result this weekend when the M&M’s 200 Presented by Casey’s General Stores invades Iowa Speedway on Saturday.

The green flag for the M&M’s 200 drops at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“We’ve struggled at Iowa the past couple of seasons,” Enfinger said. “It’s not the track. We love the track. We just weren’t clicking on those days for some reason.”

Enfinger (379 points) has definitely been clicking this season. He leads the points standings by 37 over Stewart Friesen.

Friesen has led 16 more laps than Enfinger and has won two stages but also failed to finish two races.

Enfinger has five top-five finishes and eight-top 10 finishes in nine starts. His No. 98 Ford F-150 has been solid all season. He was fourth at Texas Motor Speedway in the most recent truck race.

“We are communicating well together, and our team is just clicking right now,” Enfinger said. “We haven’t had to make a ton of major adjustments.”

Friesen has led 126 laps this season, which is one more than Iowa native Brett Moffitt.

Moffitt is the defending truck series race winner at Iowa. Friesen has four top-five finishes and five top-10 marks this season.

Truck series regular Matt Crafton (338) is third in the points standings but trails Friesen (342) by only four after his runner-up finish this past weekend. He has six top-five finishes and eight top-10 tallies in 2019.

Moffitt (324) moved past Ben Rhodes (325) for fourth after his 11th-place finish this past weekend. Rhodes is one point back in fifth because he took 21st at Texas.

The next two guys in the standings are Johnny Sauter (307) in sixth and Austin Hill (302) in seventh. Both Sauter and Hill have truck wins this season. Harrison Burton (293), Todd Gilliland (267) and Sheldon Creed (254) round out the top 10 in the standings.

All 10 of these drivers and the rest of the field at Iowa Speedway this weekend will be racing for an extra $50,000 as the M&M’s 200 is part of the Triple Truck Challenge, or the Trip.

Iowa Speedway is the second race in the three-series Trip Challenge. Greg Biffle’s win at Texas last weekend gave him the first extra $50,000.

“The money is always nice, but it’s also huge from an exposure standpoint,” Enfinger said. “That’s a lot of money no matter who you are, too. It will help us put money in our budget if we can win the race.”

Enfinger does not have a win this season. But he also has finished every race and won a stage. He was fourth at Texas this past weekend, was the 2015 ARCA Racing Series season champion and made the 2018 truck series playoffs.

Enfinger has two career wins in 60 starts in the truck series. This is his third season running full-time in the truck series. He’s part of ThorSport Racing, which also includes Crafton, Rhodes, Sauter and Matt Snider.

Sauter, who has been top five in the past two truck series races at Iowa, has three stage wins this season and Creed has led 97 laps. Moffitt has one stage win and has led 125 laps.

The only two truck series regulars who have won at Iowa before are Moffitt last year and Crafton in 2011. Enfinger hopes to become the third to pull into Victory Lane this weekend.

“We haven’t been up to our standards at Iowa, but we have high hopes and expectations this weekend,” Enfinger said.

The Speedway parking lots open at 7 a.m. Saturday. The first Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice is at 8:30 a.m. and qualifying for the night race starts at 4:35 p.m.

Contact Troy Hyde at
641-792-3121 ext. 6536
or thyde@newtondailynews.com

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