Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park TSport 200 Race Preview
Grant Enfinger, No. 23 Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet Silverado RST
Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park Stats
– NCTS Starts: 1; Wins: 1 (2022); Best start: 5th; Top 5s: 1; Top 10s: 1; Laps led: 13
– ARCA Starts: 4; Best start: 4th; Best finish: 4th (2014); Top 5s: 1; Top 10s: 3; Laps led: 26
2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Season Stats
– Starts: 16; Wins: 2 (Kansas I & Gateway); Best start: 2nd; Stage wins: 1; Top 5s: 6; Top 10s: 9; Laps led: 133; Current points position: 5th
– About Champion Power Equipment: Since 2003, Champion Power Equipment has earned a reputation for designing and producing the market’s finest power equipment. From our original headquarters in Santa Fe Springs, California, Champion has expanded its North American footprint to include facilities in Jackson, Tennessee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Toronto Canada. Today, Champion’s product line has expanded to include portable generators, home standby generators, inverter generators, engines, winches and log splitters. With over 2.5 million generators sold in North America, Champion is a market leader in the power equipment field. Visit ChampionPowerEquipment.com for more information.
– Chassis History/Info: Enfinger and the No. 23 team will compete with GMS Racing chassis no. 329 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. And boy, is it a good one. This is the exact same truck that took the checkered flag last time at the historic short track, and also won at World Wide Technology Raceway back in June. In the six times that Grant has driven this truck over the course of the past year-and-a-half, he’s finished inside the top-10 in every race except for one, at Texas last year (where he finished 11th).
– Defending IRP Race Winner: Last year, the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series made its highly anticipated return to IRP for the first time since 2011. In front of a sold-out crowd, Grant Enfinger put on one of the most memorable finishes of the season in a nail-biting run to the checkered flag. With just seven laps remaining in the race, he led the field when Jeff Hensley made an aggressive call to pit for four tires while most others stayed out or took two. Not to be denied the victory, Enfinger would rocket from 12th place to make the race-winning pass in an overtime finish to take the seventh win of his career.
– Hensley at IRP: Jeff Hensley has been coming to the short track in IRP for over 40 years, initially making three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts and one ARCA Menards Series start as a driver from 1983 to 1985. Beginning in 1987, he would go on to call 15 NXS races from atop the pit box, gathering a total of two top-fives and three top-10 finishes with driver Chuck Bown, who led 138 laps at the track during a span of three races. When Hensley made the move to the Truck Series, he then went on to win two poles with drivers Mike Skinner in 2007 and Timothy Peters in 2010. Hensley has two top-fives and three top-10s in Truck Series competition leading a total of 105 laps, with Grant being the driver that earned him his first trip to victory lane last year.
– Road to Phoenix: And then, there were 10… the playoffs are here! Grant Enfinger has secured a spot in the playoffs for the fifth time in his career (tied for second-most of active drivers in the series) The following races at Lucas Oil IRP, the Milwaukee Mile, and Kansas will determine the drivers that move on to the Round of 8. In 2022, Enfinger started white hot at the start of the postseason, locking himself into the next round with a win in the first race. Misfortunate circumstances would plague the team in the following round, resulting in a seventh place finish in the standings. This time around however, the No. 23 group is hungry to advance into the Championship 4, and if Grant is able to do so, it would be the second time in his career that he vies for the title in the final race.
– #FearTheFinger Playoffs Profile: Grant begins the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series playoffs seeded fifth in the points standings with a 15 point buffer to the cut line. 16 events into the 2023 season, Enfinger owns two race victories at Kansas Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway along with six top-fives and nine top-10s. He is optimistic that the No. 23 team will be a threat to win week-in and week-out, noting that most all of the tracks in the playoffs are solid for the organization.
– From The Drivers Seat: You’ve got to feel good about returning to IRP after last season, so what did you learn during that race last year that will help your team be even better this time?
“I’m excited to get the playoffs started, and I feel good about starting it out at IRP. Our GMS Racing guys are working hard to bring us just as good of a Champion Power Equipment Chevy as we had last year. I think that IRP is a great track for the Truck Series. It has multiple grooves we can choose, but it’s still a tough short track with a lot of character.”
– From The Pit Box (Jeff Hensley): If you had to give an overall assessment on where the No. 23 team was last year entering the playoffs compared to this year, what kind of improvements do you think has been made as far as the readiness to contend for the championship?
“Well, we always pride ourselves in being prepared every week. I think back to last year, at the first part of the season, we weren’t able to score that many playoffs points. We hadn’t gotten our first win until we got to Indy, so it was like there was more of a sense of desperation to even get into the playoffs. This year, we won early at Kansas, so that took a little bit of the pressure off our shoulders, and then we won again at Gateway, which really helped our tally. I think we are as prepared as we can possibly be; our trucks are flowing pretty good as far as the preparation for the upcoming races and we’ve been continuing to make them the best they can be. We’re carrying the best trucks in our rotation every week, but we do that anyway, whether it’s playoffs time or not.”
– Round: NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race No. 17 of 23 (Playoffs Round of 10 opener)
– Track Location: Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park – Clermont, Indiana
– Race Name: TSport 200
– Broadcast: Friday, August 11th at 9:00 PM ET live on FS1 (TV), MRN (Radio), and Sirius XM NASCAR Channel 90