Posted: Monday, June 23rd 2014 at 10:00am
Grant Enfinger dominates at Elko for ARCA victory
By Doug Donnelly
Grant Enfinger celebrates with his team after scoring the ARCA Racing Series victory Saturday night at Elko Speedway. / Photo: Courtesy ARCA Media
ELKO, MN - Grant Enfinger said he had a rocket ship from the start Saturday night at Elko Speedway in Elko, MN. That rocket ship, otherwise known as the No. 90 Triple K Construction-Casite-Ford, lapped all but three cars and cruised into victory lane in the Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care.
It was Enfinger's fourth win of the 2014 season and third on a short track.
"Our short track program is really on right now," he said. "Everyone on this Team BCR team is just doing exactly what they need to be doing."
Tom Hessert finished second, polesitter J.J. Haley third and Justin Boston fourth. They were the only cars on the lead lap when the race was complete.
Enfinger started on the outside pole but grabbed the lead right away after Haley spun his tires when the green flag dropped. He led the first three laps before he got spun in turn two when he got tangled up with a car he was about to lap. He made a pit stop and was able to stay on the lead lap as Josh Williams took over the lead.
"I thought our day was done," Enfinger said. "But, (crew chief) Kelly Kovski stayed calm and he kept me calm. He made the adjustments on the car and we took off after that. The car was working on the inside or the outside and that was really the key because when we were at the back of the field, we had to use the outside to get around everyone. Then, when we were battling for the lead, we had to use the inside."
Enfinger led 211 laps overall, and regained the lead from Hessert on lap 43. Williams led from lap three to 36 and Hessert from 37 to 42.
Kovski said he didn't have to do anything special to keep Enfinger calm.
"He was shook up a little bit," said Kovski, who not only has been Enfinger's crew chief this season but has experience as an ARCA driver. "But, Grant usually keeps his composure anyway. He did everything right. He's on top of his game right now."
He's also on top of the ARCA Racing Series point standings, re-taking the lead from Mason Mitchell, who finished 10th, keeping his top 10 streak going at 18 races.
Ken Schrader finished fifth, Williams sixth for the second year in a row, Kyle Benjamin seventh in the Roulo Brothers Racing return to the ARCA series after two races off, Austin Wayne Self eighth and Watkinsville, GA’s John Wes Townley ninth.
Hessert's runner-up finish was a rebound of sorts from a tough stretch of races.
"Grant was able to get a big lead on us," Hessert said. "But, we had a good run. Second-place was good for the Cunningham Motorsports team, especially after the last couple races we had."
Haley became the youngest driver in series history to win the pole when he set a track record in qualifying.
"I made a mistake on the start," he said. "I spun the tires. But, as the race went on, we were better. That's what we are here for, to learn those things. It was a good race. The Venturini team gave me a fast car and had great pit stops."
Boston was pleased with his fourth-place finish.
"I'm happy we finished the race," he said. "Those first 25 laps were interesting. This Toyota Camry was good."
Schrader, the defending polesitter, wasn't happy with his finish.
"We were just not good," he said. "We'll go next to Winchester. I always look forward to the next race."
Williams led more than 30 laps and was a factor in the race until he had problems on pit road. He recovered to still finish sixth.
ARCA Racing Series
Elko Speedway - Elko, MN
Akona 250 - June 21, 2014
FIN STR NO DRIVER/HOMETOWN TEAM & CAR LAPS STATUS
1 2 90 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL Stanley Industries-Motor Honey Ford 250 Running
2 6 77 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Caregard-AxiomWarranty.com Dodge 250 Running
3 1 55 J.J. Haley/Winamac IN Braun Auto Group-Braun Ability Toyota 250 Running
4 7 25 Justin Boston/Baltimore MD ZLOOP Toyota 250 Running
5 5 52 Ken Schrader/Fenton MO Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet 249 Running
6 4 6 Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL Southwest Florida Cable Construction Ford 249 Running
7 11 17 Kyle Benjamin/Easley SC Roulo Brothers Racing Ford 249 Running
8 9 22 Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX AM Technical Solutions Dodge 248 Running
9 8 15 John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA Zaxby's Toyota 247 Running
10 12 98 Mason Mitchell/West Des Moines IA Musselman's-Wildlife Foundation of Florida-TTS Ford 247 Running
11 3 44 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Ansell-Menards Toyota 246 Running
12 14 23 Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV Allegiant Travel Chevrolet 246 Running
13 15 18 Bill Catania/Westfield NY Stacks Original Wings & BBQ Sauce Chevrolet 244 Running
14 13 69 Michael Lira/Port Orange FL Gary Yeomans Ford 243 Running
15 17 2 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL DK-LOK Fittings & Valves Chevrolet 241 Running
16 16 64 Joseph Hughs/Springfield IL Kick Energy Dodge 219 Running
17 10 3 Karl Weber/Ambia IN Silveus Insurance Group Chevrolet 99 Differential
18 18 0 James Swanson/Clarksboro NJ Wayne Peterson Racing Ford 35 Handling
19 21 48 Brad Smith/Shelby Township MI Radon.com Ford 14 Clutch
20 23 68 Chris Bailey/South Park PA Kimmel Racing Ford 8 Handling
21 20 66 Nick Barstad/Prior Lake MN Venturini Motorsports Toyota 2 Rear End
22 19 40 Joe Haney/Joliet IL Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge 2 Accident
23 22 06 Wayne Peterson/Pulaski TN Wayne Peterson Racing Chevrolet 1 Transmssn
Menards Pole Award Presented by Ansell: JJ Haley 14.282 (94.525 mph) *NTR
Margin of Victory: 6.258 seconds Cautions: 5 for 29 laps
Time of Race: 1:16:51 Average Speed: 73.200 mph *NTR
Lap Leaders: Enfinger 1-3, 43-250 (211); Williams 4-36 (33); Hessert 37-42 (6)
Link: ARCA Racing Series
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