The Fairhope, Ala. native used a pass on the first green-white-checkered lap to get by Kyle Weatherman to earn his fifth win of 2015 and keep him in the driver’s seat to be the 2015 series champion. Weatherman led laps 88-103 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds before he slipped and went just high enough for Enfinger to slide past him on the backstretch, and hold him off for the victory.
“It worked out,” Enfinger said after winning the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care Monday. “A lot of times it doesn’t but, this time it did.”
The series point leader won each of the first three races and two of the last three. This one might have been the least likely of his wins, even after taking the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell and leading the first 15 laps of the race. His car became extremely hot, he said, causing a couple of unscheduled pit stops.
“We got way, way too hot,” Enfinger said. “Hats off to Ilmor (makers of the ARCA Ilmor 396). Evidently, they’ve built a bullet-proof engine because it stayed together even when the water temperature gauge passed itself. That’s hot. We lost a lot of water, but, fortunately, the caution came out when we needed it to for us to get it topped off with water and all the guys did great for not letting us lose a lap. Having a car this good made it possible.”
The race had seven cautions, the last coming on lap 98. Weatherman restarted first and Enfinger third. Enfinger took advantage of the leader when Weatherman went slightly high in turns one and two, and Enfinger grabbed the lead. Weatherman, in the No. 22 Crosley Brands Dodge, was frustrated with finishing second although he widened his lead in the Calypso Lemonades Short Track Challenge standings and led the most laps – 32.
“Honestly this is the second race we’ve lost under this caution deal,” Weatherman said. “The cautions keep falling wrong for us. But, that’s a part of racing. I honestly think me and Grant had one of the better cars all weekend. It’s just unfortunate that I gave it away there at the end.”
Springfield dirt winner A.J. Fike finished sixth, Frank Kimmel seventh in his historic 500th career start, Justin Boston eighth, Ryan Unzicker ninth and Kelly Kovski 10th. Fifteen cars finished on the lead lap, including Will Kimmel in 14th. Kimmel led 26 laps.
Hessert was third in the No. 77 Barbera’s Autoland Dodge. He led 18 laps and was up front most of the day.
“It was a tough day,” Hessert said. “The race track stayed together well in three and four, but getting into one was a handful. All in all, not a bad day. We seemed to run pretty well at these dirt tracks. It would be nice to win one.”
Schrader, in the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet, called the track “treacherous” at times.
“We came home fifth and in one piece,” Schrader said. “The highest we were all day were the last two laps. We’ll take it.”
Josh Williams ran as high as second and in the top five most of the day. He eventually finished fourth.
“We had a pretty fast race car all day,” said Williams, the runner-up in the point standings and driver of the No. 6 Musselman’s Applesauce Chevy. “You can’t run up top. I got caught racing up there on that restart and you can’t get through like that. It’s alright. We’ll move on to the next one.”
The race took 1 hour and 31 minutes to complete. Enfinger’s margin of victory was .761 seconds. He leaves DuQuoin with a 180-point lead in the driver point standings.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races next at Salem Speedway on Sept. 19.

By Doug Donnelly, [email protected]

ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
DuQuoin State Fairgrounds
Sept. 7, 2015
Official Finish

1 1 23 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL 104 Running
2 5 22 Kyle Weatherman/Wentzville MO 104 Running
3 7 77 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ 104 Running
4 11 6 Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL 104 Running
5 6 52 Ken Schrader/Fenton MO 104 Running
6 2 27 A.J. Fike/Galesburg IL 104 Running
7 9 25 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN 104 Running
8 8 55 Justin Boston/Baltimore MD 104 Running
9 16 24 Ryan Unzicker/El Paso IL 104 Running
10 12 16 Kelly Kovski/Springfield IL 104 Running
11 18 2 Sarah Cornett-Ching/Summerland BC 104 Running
12 4 59 David Levine/Highland Park IL 104 Running
13 17 9 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL 104 Running
14 3 69 Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN 104 Running
15 10 98 Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX 104 Running
16 20 58 Tyler Dippel/Wallkill NY 103 Running
17 19 42 Bo LeMastus/Louisville KY 102 Running
18 15 48 James Swanson/Clarksboro NJ 96 Running
19 26 73 Dale Shearer/Chillicothe MO 86 Running
20 21 34 Mike Basham/Henryville IN 49 Accident
21 30 0 Mike Abram/St. Louis MO 45 Accident
22 13 71 Shane Cockrum/Benton IL 38 Overheating
23 23 10 Ed Pompa/Ballston Spa NY 37 Overheating
24 22 5 Mark Littleton/Arenzville IL 28 Accident
25 27 06 Con Nicolopoulos/Columbus MI 27 Overheating
26 24 97 Alex Clubb/Morris IL 26 Engine
27 25 3 Josh White/Charleston WV 21 Transmssn
28 14 40 Justin Lloyd/San Jose CA 13 Engine
29 28 00 Wayne Peterson/Pulaski TN 1 Handling
30 29 68 Mark Meunier/Louisville KY 1 Brakes
31 32 70 Billy Alger/Logansport IN 0 Carburetor
32 31 81 Kevin Campbell/St. Louis MO 0 Electrical
56 Nick Higdon/Big Clifty KY DNS

Story By: ARCA PR

Photo Credit: ARCA

Last Lap Pass Enables Enfinger To Get Dirty in ARCA