NASCAR Camping World Trucks: GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger Jumps Out Front With Victory In Playoff Opener

Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park’s first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in 11 years did not disappoint. Tasked with opening the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, the 0.686-mile flat paved track located just outside Indianapolis, Indiana produced some stellar side-by-side racing that went into overtime ultimately naming Grant Enfinger of GMS Racing the victor.

Enfinger, winless on the season before Friday’s race, grabbed the impressive victory along with a spot in the next round of the Playoffs. The win last weekend at Indianapolis was Enfinger’s seventh career victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and his third Playoff win of his career (Las Vegas in 2018 and Martinsville in 2020).

Now, the Fairhope, Alabama native will look to carry this postseason momentum to Richmond Raceway where he can focus on racking up Playoff points as he is the only driver currently locked into the Round of 8.

With Enfinger being the only Playoff driver for GMS Racing this season, he will also look to keep their Championship 4 Round streak alive, as they have had at least one driver earn a spot in the Championship 4 in each of the last seven seasons since the current Playoff format was introduced in 2016.


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

  • Next Race: Worldwide Express 250 for Carrier Appreciation
  • The Place: Richmond Raceway
  • The Date: Friday, August 13
  • The Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • The Purse: $744,951
  • TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET
  • Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)
  • Distance: 187.5 miles (250 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 70),
  • Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 140), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 250)

Playoffs have busted wide open after just one race

GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger entered last weekend’s Playoff opener as the ninth seed and now, on the heels of his big win last weekend at Indianapolis, finds himself as the only driver that has clinched a spot in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8. With the Playoff standings shuffled like a deck of cards, nine other drivers are still vying to secure their spot in the next round of the Playoffs as the series prepares for Richmond Raceway’s Worldwide Express 250 for Carrier Appreciation on Saturday, August 13 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The favorite to join Enfinger in the next round in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has to be 2022 Regular Season Champion, Zane Smith. Coming into the Playoffs as the No. 1 seed and Regular Season Champion, the driver of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford brought with him 37 Playoff points, and after his third-place finish at Indianapolis, he is the first driver without a win in the Playoff outlook standings, up +50 points on Round of 8 cutline (2,079 points).

Finishing runner-up to Enfinger at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park was ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes. The 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion looks poised to go after his second title this season carrying 2,065 points into Richmond next weekend. Rhodes sits third in the Playoff outlook, +36 points above the cutline and just 14 back from Zane Smith in the Playoff point standings lead.

Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen is currently fourth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff outlook standings following his fourth-place finish at Indianapolis, up +28 points on the Round of 8 cutline. Friesen has earned a spot in the Playoffs three times in his career and in all three appearances he advanced to the Round of 8 (2018, 2019, 2021).

Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates John Hunter Nemechek and Chandler Smith are tied the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs standings following Indianapolis, but Nemechek holds the tie breaker of best finish in the with his 10th-place run last weekend to Smith’s 18th. Both drivers are currently 24 points up on the Round of 8 cutline.

The two drivers currently occupying the last two spots that would move them forward to the Round of 8 are Ty Majeski and Carson Hocevar. Majeski had a very well-rounded run at Indianapolis, which involved a stage win and an eighth-place outing. Hocevar, while running up near the front for most of the night, had a late incident with the No. 91 truck of Colby Howard that relegated him to 21st-place finish. Majeski heads into Richmond next week up +19 points above the Round of 8 cutline. Niece Motorsport’s driver Carson Hocevar only has a seven-point lead on ninth in the Playoff outlook standings, but what should be making the young driver even more nervous is with two races to go, if one of the drivers below him in the Playoff standings were to win, he would be bounced below the cutline being in the final transfer spot on points.

Outside Looking In: ThorSport Racing teammates Crafton, Eckes need to bounce back

Following Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, ThorSport Racing teammates Matt Crafton and Christian Eckes find themselves below the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Round of 8 cutline with just two races left to turn their postseason runs around.

Last weekend, three-time series champion Matt Crafton rallied to a ninth-place finish at Indianapolis and left the 0.686-mile track just seven points back from the Round of 8 cutline. Crafton is the only driver in series history to participate in each of the series’ Playoffs since its inception in 2016 and has earned a spot in the Round 8 in all six previous postseason appearances.

Unlike the extensive Playoff experience Crafton has, his teammate Christian Eckes is just in his second appearance in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs and is hoping to build on his postseason debut in 2020 where he was eliminated in the Round of 10. Eckes finished 16th at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park and has the same points total as Crafton at 2,029. Eckes is currently seven points behind Carson Hocevar in the eighth and final transfer spot to the Round of 8 on points.

Playoff Clinch Scenarios: Looking Ahead to Richmond

With one of the three races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs in the books, here is a look at the clinch scenarios for the 10-driver field in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs:

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the 8-driver field of the next round of the Playoffs: Grant Enfinger.

Can Clinch via Points

If there is a repeat winner (Enfinger) or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the seventh winless driver in the standings.  The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, Stewart Friesen, John Hunter Nemechek, Chandler Smith or Ty Majeski.

  • Zane Smith: Could only clinch with help
  • Ben Rhodes: Could only clinch with help
  • Stewart Friesen: Could only clinch with help
  • John Hunter Nemechek: Could only clinch with help
  • Chandler Smith: Could only clinch with help
  • Ty Majeski: Could only clinch with help

If there is a new winner from Carson Hocevar or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the sixth winless driver in the standings.

  • Zane Smith: Could only clinch with help
  • Ben Rhodes: Could only clinch with help
  • Stewart Friesen: Could only clinch with help
  • John Hunter Nemechek: Could only clinch with help
  • Chandler Smith: Could only clinch with help

Can Clinch via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, Stewart Friesen, John Hunter Nemechek, Chandler Smith, Ty Majeski, Carson Hocevar, Matt Crafton, and Christian Eckes.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

Camping World Truck Series Owners Playoffs Update – None of the current trucks in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owners Playoffs won last weekend at Indianapolis, therefore the Front Row Motorsport’s No. 38 Ford leads the postseason standings by 14 points over ThorSport Racing’s No. 99 Toyota and up 50 points over the Round of 8 cutline.

At the other end of the standings along the Round of 8 cutline sits Niece Motorsport’s No. 42 Chevrolet in the eighth and final transfer spot on points, up seven points over ThorSport Racing’s No. 98 team in ninth and 12 points up on Team DGR’s No. 17 Ford.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year update – Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Corey Heim posted a fifth-place finish this past weekend at Indianapolis and in the process opened up his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year point standings lead over second place Lawless Alan by 62 points.

Heim, for most of the season was running a part-time schedule but has announced he will be in the No. 51 truck for the rest of the season in pursuit of the rookie of the year honors and the owners championship.

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