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Enfinger bests Austin Hill in OT for Atlanta Truck win

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Enfinger bests Austin Hill in OT for Atlanta Truck win
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Jun 6, 2020, 7:25 PM

Grant Enfinger used a last-lap pass of Austin Hill to grab the unexpected NASCAR Truck Series victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch appeared head to another series win but self-destructed in the final stage with multiple pit road speeding penalties, which left Austin Hill in command of Saturday’s race as it wound to a close.

Chase Elliott spun out with two laps left in regulation to send the race into a two-lap overtime. Enfinger, who restarted fifth, kept pace with Hill on the restart and powered around him on the outside on the final lap to secure the victory.

The win is the second of the season for Enfinger, who also won the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. It’s the fourth win of his career.

 

“We didn’t have the best truck on the long run, but we had the best truck on the short run, I feel like,” Enfinger said. “It’s just been a special weekend. Congratulations to my grandparents who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary – sorry we couldn’t be there. This one is for them.

“Just an incredible turn of events there. We had the short-run speed and that’s what it came down to. This one means a lot.

“Duke and Rhonda Thorson kept everything going, kept everybody employed with a paycheck through this pandemic to hopefully put ourselves in a good position when we went back racing. Thank you to them.”

Saturday’s race was the second in the Truck series since NASCAR resumed racing without fans on May 17.

Christian Eckes finished third, Todd Gilliland fourth and Zane Smith completed the top-five. Busch ended up 22nd.

With 50 laps remaining in the race, Ross Chastain was working hard to keep Busch at bay. Busch had restarted the final stage on fresh tires and had set a blistering pace through the field.

On Lap 85, Busch – with 10-lap fresher tires than Chastain – finally got around him to move back into the race lead.

A final round of green-flag pit stops began with 36 laps to go. Busch came in as the race leader but was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to serve a pass-through penalty. Elliott also seemed to miss the entrance to pit road on his first attempt.

Busch sped again when serving his penalty and was forced to make a stop-and-go penalty the second time.

Once the cycle of stops was complete, Hill emerged as the leader followed by Chastain and Gilliland.

On Lap 107, Busch was forced to pit road again, this time for a flat tire.

With 20 laps to go, Hill held about a 2-second lead over Chastain with Gilliland in third. On Lap 114, Elliott moved into third.

With two laps remaining, Elliott – who was running third – spun around off Turn 2 to bring out a caution and send the race into a two-lap overtime.

All the lead-lap trucks elected to pit and Hill was the first off pit road. On the restart in overtime, Hill led the way followed by Gilliland, Eckes, Smith and Enfinger.

NASCAR officials disqualified Johnny Sauter's No. 13 Ford following Saturday's Truck race after it failed post-race inspection. Sauter was found to have unapproved modifications to his tires. The penalty moves Sauter from a 17th-place finish in the race to last in the 40-truck field.

Stage 2

Busch claimed the Stage 2 win after getting a jump on a restart with four laps to go and holding off Enfinger.

Kraus was third, Chastain fourth and Gilliland rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stage 1 and 2, most of the lead-lap trucks elected to pit but Smith stayed out and inherited the lead. Elliott was the first off pit road.

Both Sauter and Chastain were penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field. On the restart on Lap 38, Smith was followed by Elliott, Busch and Sheldon Creed.

Elliott quickly got around Smith on the restart to take the lead for the first time in the race.

On Lap 48, Busch and Elliott swapped the lead with Elliott earning back a small advantage with 9 laps remaining in the second stage.

On Lap 51, Austin Wayne Self spun around exiting Turn 4 and ended up stopped in the middle of the track to bring out a caution.

Many lead-lap trucks pit but Busch stayed out. Creed, Smith and Cory Roper all sped on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field. On the restart on Lap 57, Busch led the way followed by Gilliland and Hill.

Stage 1

Busch held off a fast-approaching Elliott to take the Stage 1 win.

Eckes finished third, Smith was fourth and Hill rounded out the top-five.

Eckes, who started on the pole, led the first lap until the race was put under caution on Lap 2 when Bryan Dauzat spun on the backstretch.

The race returned to green on Lap 6 with Eckes out front followed by Enfinger and Brett Moffitt.

On Lap 12, Busch got around Eckes off Turn 2 to grab the lead for the first time. Shortly afterward, Dauzat spun again on the backstretch to bring out another caution. Jeb Burton received some damage from the incident.

NASCAR decided to utilize this caution as its competition caution. Most lead-lap trucks elected to remain on the track. On the restart on Lap 17 Busch led the way followed by Eckes and Moffitt.

Eckes quickly powered back into the lead on the restart as Moffitt moved into second.

With 10 laps remaining in the first stage, Eckes had built a 1.3-second lead over Moffitt, but Busch reclaimed second place with nine laps to go.

With 8 laps remaining, Busch reclaimed the lead from Eckes.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 98 United States Grant Enfinger Ford 136   7
2 16 United States Austin Hill Toyota 136 0.215 36
3 18 United States Christian Eckes Toyota 136 0.716 18
4 38 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 136 0.934  
5 21 Zane Smith Chevrolet 136 1.139 5
6 42 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 136 1.196 17
7 19 United States Derek Kraus Toyota 136 1.758  
8 23 United States Brett Moffitt Chevrolet 136 2.098  
9 99 United States Ben Rhodes Ford 136 2.289  
10 52 United States Stewart Friesen Toyota 136 3.038  
11 15 United States Tanner Gray Ford 136 3.326  
12 88 United States Matt Crafton Ford 136 3.386  
13 40 United States Ryan Truex Chevrolet 136 4.497  
14 2 United States Sheldon Creed Chevrolet 136 4.906  
15 26 United States Tyler Ankrum Chevrolet 136 4.913  
16 44 United States Jeb Burton Chevrolet 136 6.348  
17 13 United States Johnny Sauter Ford 136 6.747  
18 30 United States Brennan Poole Toyota 136 7.231  
19 4 Canada Raphael Lessard Toyota 136 9.052  
20 45 United States Ty Majeski Chevrolet 135 1 lap  
21 24 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 135 1 lap 16
22 51 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 135 1 lap 37
23 56 United States Timmy Hill Chevrolet 135 1 lap  
24 04 Cory Roper Ford 135 1 lap  
25 8 United States John Hunter Nemechek Ford 135 1 lap  
26 11 United States Spencer Davis Toyota 134 2 laps  
27 68 Clay Greenfield Toyota 134 2 laps  
28 20 United States Spencer Boyd Chevrolet 134 2 laps  
29 00 United States Angela Ruch Toyota 134 2 laps  
30 7 United States Korbin Forrister Toyota 134 2 laps  
31 22 United States Austin Wayne Self Chevrolet 132 4 laps  
32 02 Tate Fogleman Chevrolet 132 4 laps  
33 49 United States Bayley Currey Chevrolet 131 5 laps  
34 9 Codie Rohrbaugh Chevrolet 130 6 laps  
35 33 United States Gray Gaulding Toyota 129 7 laps  
36 97 United States Jesse Little Chevrolet 127 9 laps  
37 10 United States Jennifer Jo Cobb Chevrolet 109 27 laps  
38 3 United States Jordan Anderson Chevrolet 95 41 laps  
39 83 TJ Jr Chevrolet 53 83 laps  
40 28 United States Bryan Dauzat Chevrolet 4 132 laps  

Chase Elliott cashes in bounty with Truck win over Kyle Busch

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About this article

Series NASCAR Truck
Event Atlanta
Drivers Grant Enfinger
Author Jim Utter