(TOLEDO, Ohio – October 7, 2015) – Grant Enfinger is planning to wrap up his first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship on Friday, October 16 at Kansas Speedway. By doing so, he will become the 33rd different champion in ARCA’s 63 seasons. It will also most likely mean he was able to go through another season relatively unscathed when it came to accidents and on-track incidents.
Through 19 races, Enfinger has completed 98.1% of the laps this season, or 2,579 of 2,628. He was running at the finish of 17 of the 19 races so far – his day being cut short only at Talladega and Toledo. He is second in the S&S Volvo Long Haul Award standings with only the Full Throttle S’loonshine 98.9 at Kansas remaining. The Long Haul standings count laps completed in the series. Austin Wayne Self from Mason Mitchell Motorsports currently leads that category with 2,593 laps completed – 14 laps more than Enfinger.
No driver is able to complete so many laps if they didn’t pay attention to safety, from belts inside their race cars, to safe seats to race gear and firesuits to an approved helmet. When it comes to safety in the car and on the track, Enfinger said it’s a mentality that drivers must adopt.
“I’ve been doing it so long I have a checklist in my brain that I go through,” he said. “I always make sure all of the seat belts look good and the Hans device latches fine, things like that.”
Before each race, he said, he takes note of his surroundings inside the race car – making sure everything is where it should be and, if necessary, he has a way out of the race car.
“You better make sure you can get out the ride side,” he said. “When you are putting your seat in or your fire bottles in, you want to make sure you are not blocking yourself in. It’s more of a mentality than a specific checklist. You try and do everything you can to be safe. At the end of the day, that’s on the driver. It’s the driver’s responsibility. If he is not comfortable or happy with something, than the team has to do what they can to make it right.”
Enfinger, 30, is enjoying his finest season with six wins, three poles and 15 top 10 finishes. For his career, he has 14 wins in 90 races, 44 top five’s, 61 top 10’s and has led 2,199 laps in ARCA competition. He’s driven into Victory Lane in 13 of the past 43 ARCA Racing Series events.
Each time, he said, safety has been on his mind.
“You have to look at the whole safety thing as a mentality,” he said. “You have to make sure what you are doing and how you are doing it makes sense. Hopefully, you don’t have to get out of your car, but, if you do, you better make darn sure you can. That would be my ‘safety’ advice for others – think about it and make it part of your mentality.”