Upstart Enfinger Leads First ARCA RE/MAX Series Kentucky Practice
Accomplished Late Model racer Grant Enfinger joined second-place championship driver Justin Lofton and Alli Owens atop the ARCA RE/MAX Series speed chart during an afternoon practice session at Kentucky Speedway.
Enfinger, preparing for his third ARCA RE/MAX Series start of the season, led the trio with a fast 175.595-mph (30.689 seconds) lap in his No. 83 Beasleyallen.com Ford.
He plans to make his second career ARCA RE/MAX Series start in the Bluegrass State tomorrow night in the "Click It or Ticket. Buckle-Up! Kentucky 150." He hopes his practice success can translate into a strong race performance on a track with a history of producing underdog victors. The 23-year-old wheelman started 26th and finished 39th in a 150-mile ARCA RE/MAX Series event here in May 2008.
"This car is absolutely awesome. It's is a brand new car for us and we're really happy. We made as many changes as we could at the shop to prepare. We tried to make a spring change here, but it didn't work.
"We're underfunded, running a limited schedule and put all of our money in one basket for this car. We are here to prove to folks that we can perform. We've maxed out our budget for four races and are hoping to be in the money here so we can take this car to Chicagoland (Aug. 28)," Enfinger said.
Lofton was second on the speed chart after turning his best practice lap at 175.177 mph (30.826 seconds) in the No. 6 Lofton Cattle-CGS Imaging Toyota. He was two spots ahead of current championship leader Parker Kligerman, who drove turned in a top afternoon session lap at 173.885 mph (31.055 seconds).
"In the last race here we finished second with the same car and pretty much the same set-up. We made minor adjustments with the weather and the trucks being on the track, but our chances here are really good. I really like Kentucky and I felt real comfortable in the car today," Lofton said.
Owens' third-quickest 174.972-mph (30.862 seconds) lap in her No. 19 ElectrifyingCareers.com Toyota made for a solid start to her quest to make a sixth ARCA RE/MAX Series race field this season. She looks to improve on last year's Kentucky Speedway series debut in which she placed 15th after starting 14th.
"I feel real good about our chances here. We're looking for a top-five finish and a win. We're only doing a 10-race schedule and Kentucky is a place I feel we can be successful.
"I am with a new team this year, D'Hondt Motorsports, and my crew chief really knows his stuff. We didn't get to come to the open test session so this practice was our first on the track. On this next run, we're going to try some things in race trim," Owens said.
The series will return to the track for an evening practice scheduled from 7:40 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Action continues tomorrow with a doubleheader featuring the NCWTS "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" followed by the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Click It or Ticket. Buckle-Up! Kentucky 150." The day also includes a concert with classic country music artist Lee Greenwood.
Tickets remain and will be on sale at the Kentucky Speedway Main Gate at 1 p.m.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
~Kentucky Speedway ~