The Camping World Truck Series qualifiers are just one race deep, but the leaderboard has already taken a surprising turn. Grant Enfinger won at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park and shook the rankings.
The GMS Racing driver used new tires in overtime to jump from fourth overall to the front of the pack. He moved inside regular season champion Zane Smith, took the lead, and held it for the last two rounds. Enfinger took his first win of the year, automatically securing a place in the quarter-finals.
The interesting part is that Enfinger entered the race this weekend below the elimination line. He and Matt Crafton were the last drivers to secure places in qualifying, and they faced a point ranking flaw. Now, however, Enfinger is the only driver in qualifying to have a win.
This was Enfinger’s first win since the 2020 season, the last time he shared with crew chief Jeff Hensley. That season was marked by him winning four races and securing a place in the fourth championship. However, Enfinger went 38 weeks without a win even cutting the streak in the IRP.
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2 ThorSport drivers have a floor to compensate
Now that Enfinger is booked into the next round of qualifying, another driver has taken his place below the cut-off line. That driver is ThorSport Racing’s Christian Ecks, who is back on a full-time schedule for the first time since 2020.
Equis is now 10th in the standings after the first race. He is seven points behind Carson Hocevar, and is in a tie with teammate Matt Crafton. Although the three-time champion sits right in front of him on the leaderboard.
Eckes and Crafton now have two more races to fight for a place in the quarter-finals. They will return to action August 13 at Richmond Raceway. They will then have a fight in the 10th round elimination round on September 9 at Kansas Speedway. Neither Crafton nor Eckes has won the Truck Series win in Richmond, but Crafton has three trips to Victory Lane in Kansas.
Ben Rhodes quietly took over the business
The 2022 season was not the strongest for Ben Rhodes. The defending truck series champion won at Bristol Motor Speedway, but only added four places out of the top ten in the ten races before qualifying.
Rhodes came in third over the weekend in Indianapolis in the Truck Series standings. He was 15 points above the cut-off line while behind both Chandler Smith (+20) and regular season champion Zane Smith (+35). Now he has topped the Rookie of the Year Defender after taking second place in the IRP.
Rhodes suffered an early setback on the short track. He sped down a pit path and had to descend to the back of the field. However, he made his way to sixth place by the end of the first stage. Rhodes then finished the second stage in third place, which helped him secure some crucial points.
Rhodes leaves IRP in a strong position. He is 36 points above the cut-off line and just behind Zane in terms of points. There are five drivers between Rhodes and Kotlin, raising the possibility of him moving into the quarter-finals.
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