By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Grant Enfinger’s team made the ‘winning call’ but failed to score the win in the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Jeff Hensley-led No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150 was in perfect position with 27 laps to go. Enfinger took the lead after he didn’t pit at the end of the second stage. With passing at a premium, he did everything he could to hold off eventual race winner Brett Moffitt.
On a restart with 27 laps to go, Enfinger lined up with the pole sitter on his outside. While the 34-year-old was in prime position for his truck, Moffitt was in prime position for his own truck. On the restart, Enfinger drove hard against the GMS Racing driver, but it was to no avail.
Enfinger slipped down the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series running order, taking the checkered flag in fifth.
“We were pretty good there with track position,” Enfinger admitted. “It’s hard to think of a short track with clean air meaning that much. It woke our ThorSport Racing F-150 up today. Jeff Hensley probably made the winning call. I don’t know what I would’ve done different when the 24 got around me on that start.
“He nailed it perfect and I knew that he wanted the outside there. I just wasn’t any good out there. I went with our strong point and he just nailed that restart and got us. That was all she wrote. It was really hard to pass tonight. Extremely proud of everyone on my ThorSport F-150.”
As it became evident that passing was difficult on the high-banked half-mile, Enfinger’s team elected to pit early. The decision allowed him to remain on track following stage two and assume the lead. However, the decision cost the Fairhope, AL native valuable stage points.
The fifth-place finish was the eighth top-five for Enfinger this season and 26th of his career.
Despite the top-five, Enfinger slipped down the playoff grid from second to fifth. He is 28-points behind the points leader, Moffitt. However, Enfinger is just 13-points ahead of the cutoff for the second round, held by Austin Hill.