Toyota Racing - NCWTS Nashville Post-Race Report - 06.18.21
GRANT ENFINGER, No. 98 Champion/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing--Finishing Position: 3rd--Did you think you were going to be able to hold him (Ryan Preece) off or was he coming to hard?--“I feel like we had the track position, he was just able to get me on the restart and I was able to get him back a little bit. It was fun racing there with Ryan (Preece). You know, I like racing with racers, so that one was special. I wish we could have come home with the win. We had the advantage with the track position, just used up the tires a little too much. I don’t really know what we really could have done diffrently, maybe started the pressures a little lower or something like that, but he was just too good for us there at the end. I feel like if I could have maintinaned the pace I had the first 20 laps of that run I could have held him off there at the end, but he was just coming too hard and I had used up our tires. I knew I was using them too hard, I was sliding the right rear and right front and just using too much and he was able to get by us. Heck of a night for this Champion Fire Equipment Toyota Tundra. Really, really proud of JRod (Jeriod Prince) our crew chief. He made a ballsy call and it put us in a position to win the race. Unfortuately we didn’t get it done, but very, very proud of that call and if he stays that aggressive, I stay that aggressive, Christian (Eckes) stays that aggressive, maybe we have a shot at this owner’s title.”
At one point you were four laps short. Were you skeptical at all you could get what you needed for three or four laps?
“Yea, I was skeptical because the first thing they said was we were like 12-14 laps short or something crazy. So, I thought we were going to pit and top off with everybody and then I saw everybody come down pit road and I thought man, I bet JRod (Jeriod Prince) is feeling antsy right now, but the cautions played our way and we were able to save enough. Our engineer does a great job and he was pretty confident in it I guess, more cofident than I was. But once they said we were good, it was racing business as usual. If we had come in and put on two tires with those guys and restaarted in front of the 17, maybe we could have held him (Ryan Preece) off and if we had started behind him, we were for sure not good enough to pass him. Just proud of the effort. A little bittersweet with third.”
You’ve done the points racing thing before. Can you be more aggressive in your situation?
“Yea for sure. We’re going for wins. Just like you saw tonight with the fuel milage call, I didn’t have anything left and Ryan didn’t either, I don’t think. That was just good hard racing. It’s tough to pass. It feels like we brought the wrong gear here honestly, just kind of luggish off the corners, so hard to accerlerate when you loose your air, but that was as hard as you can race with this kind of package. Congrats to him (Ryan Preece), he ran me clean and we raced each other hard. It was fun racing, we just came up a little short.”
STEWART FRIESEN, No. 52 Halmar International Toyota Tundra, Halmar Friesen Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
You stayed out and made it work on fuel. What do you think the turning point for the race was?
“That call by Jon Leonard (crew chief) to stay out was key. We short pitted with that in mind. We knew that it was going to be tight on fuel, but cautions helped us. We just couldn’t get going early in the run. Late in the run with clean air, the truck was really, really good. It was really good at the end of the race, just couldn’t fire off. I don’t know if we were just too down on the corner or not, even in traffic they would pull me by a couple of hundredths, so I couldn’t stay with the 98 (Grant Enfinger) and 17 (Ryan Preece) there. I had one good restart, got clear of the 98 and I thought that if we could just stay out here, we would be okay, but there was another quick caution and he got us back. Those guys just got away, and we just couldn’t get back to them. We raced the 66 (Ty Majeski) pretty hard. Good top-five for us. It’s good. This team has came a long way in a year.”
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Ryan Preece*
2nd, Todd Gilliland*
3rd, GRANT ENFINGER
4th, Zane Smith*
5th, STEWART FRIESEN
6th, MATT CRAFTON
7th, BEN RHODES
8th, TY MAJESKI
9th, AUSTIN HILL
10th, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
12th, JOHNNY SAUTER
13th, CHANDLER SMITH
24th, DREW DOLLAR
25th, SPENCER DAVIS
30th, DANNY BOHN
34th, LAWLESS ALAN
35th, DEREK KRAUS
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.