NASCAR & Auto Racing

Enfinger prepares to celebrate ARCA title

In 2014, Grant Enfinger won the ARCA Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
In 2014, Grant Enfinger won the ARCA Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. The Associated Press

There won’t be much drama to speak of at Friday night’s ARCA Racing Series finale Full Throttle S’loonshine 98.9 at Kansas Speedway — not in terms of the series championship, anyway.

Alabama native Grant Enfinger took care of that already, thanks to a spectacular 2015 campaign that includes six race wins, two poles and 400 more lead laps than any other series driver.

All Enfinger has to do to claim the title is show up. As long as Enfinger starts the race, the title is his.

In theory, he could start the race, run a few laps, then pull into the garage and get the party started early.

“That’s not happening,” Enfinger said with a laugh. “Not on purpose anyway.”

The first half of the season for Enfinger was challenging at times, and one problem often begat another. It was a formula for long races and low finishes.

Adjustability is as valuable on the race track as it is everywhere else, and this is where Enfinger and his team were able to set themselves apart.

A race in Chicago solidified that talent.

“We started the race, and we were just horrible. I had my hands full staying on the lead lap. We came in at the first pit stop, and we were able to put it back up front, and we were able to finish second,” Enfinger said. “That could’ve been a really bad day, but you need days like that to be able to win a championship.

“That was definitely a good sign. I’ve had times in the past when one thing goes wrong, things spiral down. It hasn’t been like that, and that’s a testimony to the guys’ hard work.”

Speed kills, and that’s a luxury Enfinger has had all season long.

“Most of races we’ve gone to, we’ve had enough speed to contend for the win. When we’ve had downs, we’ve been able to overcome them most of the time. That’s what made the season so special,” Enfinger said.

Enfinger and his team will get back to work on Monday. On Friday though, they plan to celebrate.

“I think everybody is ready. We’ve been building toward this since February,” Enfinger said. “Everybody is ready to put an exclamation point on it and call it done. We’re ready to call this thing ours.”

Rookie of the Year honors

Wentzville, Mo., native Kyle Weatherman has had an impressive first season on the ARCA Circuit. He won his first career road course start in New Jersey. All Weatherman has to do to win the Rookie of the Year title is be the 11th-highest finishing rookie in the field.

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