Phoenix International Raceway was the site of the Truck Series 2020 Championship Friday night. The Truck Series championship race was the first of three championships with the Xfinity Series and the Cup Series following suit.
Four drivers were eligible for the season championship with Sheldon Creed, Brett Moffitt, Zane Smith and Grant Enfinger eligible to fight for the title. In this special edition of Power Rankings, we’ll analyze the Championship 4 drivers tonight in chronological order.
- Sheldon Creed – From the get-go, Sheldon Creed’s championship hopes did not look favorable, at least through the first stage, with his teammate Zane Smith leading the early portions of the race. However, the No. 2 began to turn the tides little by little following the completion of Stage 1. Creed challenged for the top spot and passed Zane on Lap 49. He stayed out front for 25 laps before getting passed by the 2018 Truck Series champion, Brett Moffitt. In the second stage, the Californian would have to settle for the third position. Then the breakthrough came when a caution flew with six laps to go, changing everything in the race entirely. With Moffitt and Enfinger staying out on the racetrack, Creed elected to come to pit road and take four tires. On the overtime restart, Creed made a dive bomb move in Turn 1, passed Moffitt and retained the lead to win his first-ever Truck Series Championship. Creed will finish the 2020 season with five wins, nine top-fives and 13 top 10 finishes. In addition, he led a total of 587 laps and maintained an average finish of 10.2.
- Zane Smith – When you look back on Smith’s rookie season, some will consider the season a good season with two wins, seven top fives, and 13 top 10 finishes. However, at the end of the day, a lot of those stats are thrown out the window when you’re trying to win the title. On Friday night, the rookie from California looked really solid through the beginning portions of the event with Smith winning Stage 1 and leading the first 45 laps with no direct challenge from behind. Unfortunately for Smith, Stage 1 would be the only time the rookie would lead as he would have to end up fighting for most of the night behind the leaders. In Stage 2, Smith finished second to teammate Moffitt, but like Creed, Smith found an opportunity due to the late yellow and pitted with Creed. However, Smith ran out of time and fell just one position short of winning the title by .617 seconds to his teammate Creed.
- Brett Moffitt – Moffitt looked on pace to win his second Truck Series championship until the late-race caution changed everything. Due to some miscommunication between the crew on whether or not to stay out, Moffitt remained out on track with older tires restarting in the first position. When the green flag flew with two to go, Moffitt was passed by several drivers on the restart. Not only did he get passed, but the Iowan native fell from first to 10th when the checkered flag flew, ultimately being disappointed with the finish. Not that the stages really matter in the final race, but before winning Stage 2, Moffitt was third in Stage 1. The GMS Racing driver will end the 2020 season with one win at Kansas, 10 top fives and 16 top 10 finishes with an average finish of 9.7.
- Grant Enfinger – Aside from a disappointed Moffitt, Grant Enfinger most likely had the most disappointing night of them all. The ThorSport driver started on the pole based on the new metric system but could never really capitalize on it. Through the majority of the first two stages, the Alabaman was the lowest running of the Championship 4 being mired back in either the fourth, fifth or sixth position. During a Lap 104 caution, Enfinger made a pit stop for adjustments to his No. 98 truck to try something different than the leaders. On the next restart, Enfinger restarted in the 12th position and slowly but surely started making his way through the pack. At one point, Enfinger was passing the Championship 4 contenders and got as high as second to Moffitt before the caution. Like Moffitt, Enfinger stayed out to assume second, restarting in the outside lane. Despite Enfinger’s effort, he spun the tires a little bit and would brush the wall in the final laps. In the end, Enfinger could only manage a 13th place finishing position after showing promise late. As the 2020 season wraps up Enfinger finishes with four wins at Daytona, Atlanta, Richmond and, most recently, at Martinsville. The No. 98 team finishes with eight top fives, and 13 top 10 finishes with 156 laps led and an average finish of 10.4.