2018 Daytona International Speedway Preview
Race 1 of 23: Daytona
Track: 2.5-mile Superspeedway
Distance: 100 Laps, 250 Miles
Format: Three Stages (Stage 1: 20 Laps, Stage 2: 40 Laps, Final Stage 40 Laps, ending at Lap 100.)
Built Ford Tough
Switching manufacturers ahead of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck season, ThorSport Racing has welcomed Ford Performance into their stable. Entering its 23rd season of competition, and the 14th consecutive year paired with Menards and Matt Crafton, the Sandusky, Ohio-based team continues to look ahead to the new season with vigor, and for victory lane.
A New Look
In partnering with Ford Performance for the upcoming season and beyond, team members at ThorSport Racing have worked around the clock since announcing the change, switching over 36 chassis for the first part of the season that includes four vastly different tracks – Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway.
That’s a Stat
ThorSport Racing is the longest-tenured team in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history, with 26 victories, and 22 poles in 1017 series starts, entering it’s 23rd year of competition in 2018. Additionally, the Sandusky, Ohio-based team completed in their 500th NCWTS race in the 2017 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Crew Chief: Jeff Hensley
2017 Driver Point Standings: 11th
2017 Owner Point Standings: 13th
Spotter: David Pepper
News and Notes:
Chatting with Grant Enfinger…
ThorSport Racing made the switch to Ford in the offseason. Talk about the manufacture switch and what that means for the No. 98 Champion Power Equipment team.
“I’m really excited about the switch to Ford this year – it’s where I started in the ARCA Racing Series, and I have a long-standing relationship with those guys. It feels good to be back in the home camp, and I really feel like it will be good for ThorSport Racing overall, especially long-term. We have our same group of guys from 2017, Jeff Hensley will remain as my crew chief, and Josh Hankish will still be our Truck Chief, but we added an engineer in the off-season. We spent most of the year last year without one, but overall our core group of guys are the same. We are working with a lot of the same trucks too – we just updated to Ford F-150’s. Overall, we had a lot of strengths last year, so we are trying to keep those in place and build on some of the weaknesses, but I believe we have a good foundation for that. All the guys did a great job in the off-season getting all of our trucks rebuilt into these Ford F-150’s, and we should have a good run this week at Daytona.
Some would call you a “Superspeedway Ace.” Do you enjoy racing on superspeedways, or is it a love/hate relationship?
“I’ve always enjoyed the superspeedways – I’ve had a lot of success on them both in the ARCA Racing Series, and Truck Series, with wins and poles. So, I enjoy superspeedway racing, but it’s also just as frustrating on the other hand, too. Your destiny is dictated by everybody else out there. Somebody can make a mistake and end your day, or something you had worked out in your mind – that makes sense for everybody and can push you or them to the win – and then they decide not to go and you can lose the race just as easily as you could win it or wreck it. As much as I love them, they are frustrating too, and I’m glad we only have a couple.”
Talk about your mission trip to Haiti…
“We had sort of a different kind of offseason this year – my wife and I went on a mission trip to Haiti. I had never gone one a mission trip before, and she had only done a local one, so we decided to go with our former Truck Series MRO Chaplin, for five days. It was definitely an eye-opening experience, and it’s crazy to think such a sovereign place is only an hour flight from Miami – it was definitely a different world over there. It put things into perspective and it was a valuable experience, something I was thankful to do. Heck, we probably gained more from it than those guys down there that we were trying to help.”
What projects did you work on while you were in Haiti?
“We were in the village of Jacmel, working with the Conduit Mission group, who has put up quite a few churches in Haiti. We helped them finish one of the churches they had been working on for a few years, and spent a lot of time at their orphanage, their school, and really just kind of mingling with the locals, talking with them about God. It was an eye-opening experience, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t done it to do so.”
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cards, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles an Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 203,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit corporate.ford.com.
About ThorSport Racing
Entering its 23rd season of competition, ThorSport Racing, based in Sandusky, Ohio, is the longest-tenured NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team, competing in the series since 1996. With 1,017 starts to its credit, the team has amassed three driver championships, 26 wins, 199 top-five and 420 top-10 finishes, 22 pole awards and 4,121 laps led in NCWTS and the ARCA Racing Series.
For more information, visit ThorSport.com.