Posted: Monday, September 1st 2014 at 8:30pm
Grant Enfinger gets ARCA victory on DuQuoin Mile dirt
By ARCA Media
Grant Enfinger celebrates with his crew after scoring the win in Monday's ARCA Racing Series race on the one mile dirt track at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. / Photo: Courtesy ARCA Media
DUQUOIN, IL - Grant Enfinger claims he's not a dirt track racer, but he could have fooled everyone Monday afternoon. Enfinger, in the No. 90 Motor Honey-Casite-Allegiant Travel Chevrolet, led 63 of 100 laps en route to Victory Lane in the 61st running of the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile dirt in DuQuoin, IL.
Enfinger out-dueled Justin Boston on the final double-file restart and then held him off over the final 10 laps to secure his first win on dirt and sixth ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory of the season.
"I screwed up on that second-to-last restart. I was bound and determined to do to him (Boston) what he did to me," Enfinger said.
Enfinger was referring to a restart just prior to the final one during which the eventual winner, who was leading at the time, chose the inside front row starting position, giving up the high-side to Boston. However, Boston got the better jump from the outside and beat Enfinger into turn one.
"Justin Boston did his job. These double file restarts are tough. I spun the tires and he beat me in."
However, Enfinger got a break when the caution flag flew again soon after for a crash in turn three. As the leaders came back to green, Boston was, by choice, now positioned on the inside for the restart. As the green flag was unfurled, Enfinger got a better bite from the outside and beat Boston to the corner.
"If I could do it over again, I would have taken the outside," Boston said. "But on these short tracks, it's usually the inside that works the best on the restarts. I beat him (Enfinger) on the first one, but then he beat me."
Boston, in the No. 25 ZLOOP Toyota, still finished second, about three lengths away. It was his career-best finish on dirt.
"I'm definitely happy with it," Boston continued. "Every time you come to a dirt track, you never know what you're going to get, especially the way the tracks are always changing. But my Venturini Motorsports crew made all the right adjustments and did a great job keeping up with the track."
Five-time Southern Illinois 100 winner Frank Kimmel, in the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota, was within striking distance of Boston and finished a close third.
"We fought some things all day; we had some issues with it shutting off," Kimmel said. "It happened three times, and I had to switch boxes, but, overall, a really solid day for the Win-Tron team. Mark (Rette/Crew Chief) made a great adjustment right before that last restart and it made the car so it would get up off the turn. Right after that last restart, I think we got it to where we were as good as anyone out there."
Mason Mitchell, in the No. 98 Musselman's-Wildlife Foundation of Florida-TTS Ford, finished fourth after leading the first 26 laps from the pole, his fifth Menards Pole presented by Ansell this year. However, with Enfinger parked in Victory Lane, Mitchell lost ground in the championship chase.
"Obviously, we wanted to do a little better," said Mitchell, who leads Enfinger by 20 points. "But more than anything, we just wanted to survive these two dirt races and get out of there in decent shape, and I think we accomplished that. We only lost five points to Grant, so we'll just keep digging. I'm really excited about these two intermediate tracks left and Salem with the new paving around three and four."
Brennan Poole, in the No. 55 The Identical Movie Toyota, finished fifth ahead of Ken Schrader in sixth. Ryan Unzicker, Tom Hessert, Kyle Weatherman and Austin Wayne Self completed the top-10 finishers, respectively.
Outside of the early muscle Mitchell showed, once Enfinger cleared the former leader, he seemed to be able to pull away at will, and did for most of the race. Outside of the majority of laps led by Enfinger and Mitchell, Schrader led five and Boston led six. Regardless, once Enfinger got up into the lead, he was hard to catch.
"I don't think we were any better than anyone else getting in or out of the corners, but I do think we were better than most in the center," Enfinger added. "I really feel like our advantage at most places is through the center; it's where we work the hardest at tuning the car.
"It took me a few laps to get my rhythm but once I began to figure things out, I started driving it harder and gaining on those guys. Then once I got a little distance, I felt like I could be more consistent. As a whole, we really weren't conserving much. We didn't back into this one; I think we earned it."
Enfinger, by virtue of his victory, also earned the Bill France Four Crown championship for the 2014 season.
"Yah, that's amazing. I've seen that list...there are a lot of my heroes on that list. I couldn't begin to name them all, but what an honor to be the Bill France Four Crown champion. One more title to go."
Enfinger will have his next opportunity to go after Mitchell for the 2014 championship at Salem Speedway Saturday night under the lights, September 13. From the Salem short track, the series wraps up its 62nd season at Kentucky Speedway September 19 and Kansas October 3.
ARCA Racing Series
DuQuoin State Fairgrounds - DuQuoin, IL
Southern Illinois 100 - Sept. 1, 2014
FIN STR NO DRIVER/HOMETOWN TEAM & CAR LAPS STATUS
1 4 90 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL Motor Honey-Casite-Allegiant Travel Chevrolet 100 Running
2 5 25 Justin Boston/Baltimore MD ZLOOP Toyota 100 Running
3 9 44 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Ansell-Menards Toyota 100 Running
4 1 98 Mason Mitchell/West Des Moines IA Musselman's-Wildlife Foundation of Florida-TTS Ford 100 Running
5 8 55 Brennan Poole/The Woodlands TX The Identical Movie Toyota 100 Running
6 3 52 Ken Schrader/Fenton MO Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet 100 Running
7 11 24 Ryan Unzicker/El Paso IL Hendren Motor Sports Chevrolet 100 Running
8 13 77 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Caregard-AxiomWarranty.com Dodge 100 Running
9 14 60 Kyle Weatherman/Wentzville MO Roulo Brothers Racing Ford 100 Running
10 10 22 Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX AM Technical Solutions Dodge 100 Running
11 2 27 A.J. Fike/Galesburg IL Liberty Village-McGladrey-Office Specialists Ford 100 Running
12 25 15 John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA Zaxby's Toyota 99 Running
13 24 2 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL DK-LOK Ford 97 Running
14 15 18 Bill Catania/Westfield NC Stateline Speedway-Stacks BBQ & Sauce Chevrolet 97 Running
15 27 48 Brad Smith/Shelby Township MI Radon.com Ford 95 Running
16 30 89 Tanner Tallarico/Charlotte MI Chris Lafferty Racing Chevrolet 94 Running
17 21 73 Dale Shearer/Alhambra IL Dale Shearer Racing Ford 94 Running
18 16 06 James Swanson/Clarksboro NJ Wayne Peterson Racing Dodge 90 Fuel
19 12 66 Bob Strait/Manteno IL Hendren Motor Sports Chevrolet 82 Accident
20 18 10 Tyler Speer/Woodstock GA Proboat Inc. Chevrolet 82 Engine
21 7 69 Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN Messinas-Circle Track Magazine Ford 81 Running
22 17 71 Shane Cockrum/Benton IL Tim Cooksey Oil Ford 73 Transmssn
23 19 97 Katlynn Leer/Moultin IA Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge 64 Accident
24 22 5 Mark Littleton/Arenzville IL Birdsley Electric Chevrolet 35 Oil Leak
25 20 40 Roger Carter/Sunfield MI Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge 20 Overhtng
26 6 16 Kelly Kovski/Springfield IL Billingsley Towing-Fire & Ale-Schluckbier Chevrolet 19 Engine
27 28 0 Joe Walsh/Fenton MO Wayne Peterson Racing Ford 10 Oil Leak
28 26 3 Karl Weber/Ambia IN Silveus Insurance Group Chevrolet 1 Brakes
29 29 49 Brad Stiffler/Washington Court House OH Hylton Motorsports Ford 0 Transmssn
30 23 00 Wayne Peterson/Pulaski TN Wayne Peterson Racing Ford 0 Vibration
68 Chris Bailey/South Park PA Kimmel Racing Ford
Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell: Mason Mitchell 35.314 (101.943 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.970 seconds Cautions: 4 for 30 laps
Time of Race: 1:19:08 Average Speed: 75.819 mph
Lap Leaders: Mitchell 1-26 (26); Enfinger 27-51, 57-81, 88-100 (63); Schrader 52-56 (5); Boston 82-87 (6)
Link: ARCA Racing Series
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