Grant Enfinger Wins Talladega; Nemechek’s Title Hopes go up in Smoke

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TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 22: Grant Enfinger, driver of the #24 Plugfones Chevrolet, affixes the winner’s decal to his car in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 22, 2016 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

The Fred’s 250 is the final race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Round of Eight. The race is held at the infamous Talladega Super Speedway. Cole Custer won pole position, with Grant Enfinger to his outside. The big storyline going into the race was that John Hunter Nemechek and Daniel Hemric sat outside the final transfer spot. These two drivers could only control their destiny by winning. However, Nemechek’s title hopes go up in smoke as Grant Enfinger wins Talladega.

Grant Enfinger Wins Talladega; Nemechek’s Title Hopes go up in Smoke

Race Recap

Unfortunately for Nemechek, 13 laps in his engine expired in a plume of smoke. This ends his race and his chase. The Talladega Superspeedway is a track known for crashes, with the first notable crash involving John Wes Townley and Daniel Hemric. Lap 51 saw the #02 of Dylan Lupton turned into the middle of the pack. A few others would spin but it was the #71 of Brandon Hightower taking a big shot into the inside wall.

“The Big One” hit a mere 7 laps later. The #41 of Ben Rhodes was turned into the wall and collected almost half the field. #5 of Korbin Forrister, #00 of Cole Custer, #29 of Tyler Reddick, #05 of John Wes Townley and the #86 of Brandon Brown were all taken out by this accident. The race set up for a for a mad dash to the finish after the #88 of Matt Crafton blew a motor. In the end it was Grant Enfinger who lead 45 laps en route to his first Camping World Truck Series win. The win marked GMS Racing‘s first ever one-two finish.

The Top 5 from the Fred’s 250

  1. #24 Plugfones Chevy- Grant Enfinger
  2. #23 Allegiant Airlines Chevy- Spencer Gallagher
  3. #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota- Timothy Peters
  4. #98 Safelite Toyota- Rico Abreu
  5. #33 Jacob Companies Chevy- Ben Kennedy

Other notable finishers included William Byron in 10th. The #02 of Dylan Lupton in 12th and the #22 of Austin Wayne Self in 14th. Matt Crafton came home a dismal 22nd. Tyler Reddick takes 26th and John Hunter Nemechek comes home in last place. Cameron Hayley– the only Canadian in the field- comes home in 19th, crashing on the final lap.

Who’s in and Who’s out?

Talladega served as the last race of the Round of Eight. With his win at Loudon, William Byron advances. With his 3rd place finish Timothy Peters punches his ticket into the Round of Six. Finishing 5th, 6th and 7th Ben Kennedy,  Christopher Bell, and Johnny Sauter make it through. The final driver to advance was two-time series champion Matt Crafton. After his engine expired in Lap 13, Nemechek was eliminated. Despite surviving three different incidents and finishing 11th, it was not enough to save Daniel Hemric from elimination.

Final Thoughts

This race has shown Talladega to be a wildcard race. So many thing happen so quickly it’s almost impossible to react. Talladega is shown to be a hotbed for first time winners as seen with Enfinger. It can also be a track where your luck can turn from 0 to 100 in one lap or come crashing down in a ball of fire. Surviving the big bad monster that is Talladega means that these remaining six drivers are now one step closer to the Championship Four in Homestead. The Camping World Truck Series’ Round of Six will commence October 29th at Martinsville Speedway for the Alpha Energy Solutions 200.

Chase Standings after Talladega

  1. #9 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota- William Byron
  2. #4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota- Christopher Bell
  3. #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota- Timothy Peters
  4. #88 Thorsport Toyota- Matt Crafton
  5. #33 GMS Racing Chevy- Ben Kennedy
  6. #21 GMS Racing Chevy- Johnny Sauter

Eliminated Drivers

7. #19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford- Daniel Hemric

8. #8 NEMCO Chevy- John Hunter Nemechek

 

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