By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Pole sitter Grant Enfinger came into Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida with a purpose, scoring his second win of the season, but it wasn’t meant to be as he came up short of beating race winner and champion Brett Moffitt in Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200, leading 33 of 134 laps.
Enfinger was the only threat both Moffitt and third-place Noah Gragson dealt with in a quick race that was only slowed down twice for the end of both stages, which the Fairhope, Alabama native crossed the line in first in stage one. During pit stops, Enfinger lost the lead to his ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton and ultimately settled for third in stage two, behind stage winner Moffitt and Gragson.
For the rest of the night, the No. 98 Champion Power Equipment/Curb Records Ford F-150 was on pace with the two title contenders, but wasn’t able to regain the race lead and settled for second, losing to Moffitt by 2.000 seconds.
With Friday’s result, Enfinger finishes fifth in the final points standings, beating Crafton, who finished sixth, by four points. He also ends his second full-season with seven top-fives and 15 top-10 finishes. Out of those seven, this race marked his second runner-up of the season, with the other taking place at Eldora in August where he lost to his one-off teammate Chase Briscoe.
Enfinger said Moffitt had the best truck all night, but needed enough track position to gain ground on the newly-crowned champion.
“Just a little bit of track position I think. Honestly, I think the best truck here won tonight,” said Enfinger. “Really happy for the those guys in the championship. As a small team, they’re doing really good. Man, this No. 98 ThorSport Racing team has done incredible this year as well.”
While the Las Vegas winner couldn’t win from the pole, and had felt he could’ve held off Moffitt if he led the race, he added that this season was as successful than his 11th-place points campaign the season before.
“If we could’ve snookered him on a start or got out in front of him, I don’t think he could’ve pass us but we were just off of him it seemed like,” Enfinger added. “On a short run or long run, it didn’t matter. We were just a little bit off of him, but hats off to my guys. This Champion Power Equipment Ford F-150 was light years better than it was last year. It sat on the pole, it had speed, and all-in-all a solid night.”