GMS Racing Makes Big Mid-Season Change

Grant Enfinger

Getty Grant Enfinger will pursue his eigthth win.

The No. 23 team of GMS Racing will have a person sitting atop the pit box during the remaining Camping World Truck Series races. Jeff Hensley will return to the organization, and he will reunite with Grant Enfinger.

GMS Racing announced the news on June 29. The championship-winning organization said that Hensley will take over as Enfinger’s crew chief on July 9 during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He will try to guide the veteran driver to a strong finish — or even a win — that will keep the No. 23 in the playoff picture.

Enfinger is currently ninth overall in the championship standings. He is 39 points ahead of Derek Kraus, the first driver below the playoff cutline, and he is 10 points ahead of Matt Crafton and the final transfer spot. Barring two new winners in the final two regular-season races, Enfinger should make the playoffs.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to return to GMS Racing and reunite with Grant,” Hensley said in a statement. “We have great chemistry, and Grant is a driver that I have a lot of respect for on and off the racetrack. We have high hopes for the remainder of the 2022 season, and we have a team capable of contending for wins on a consistent basis. I look forward to showing our strength in these final eight races of the year.”

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The Duo Combined for Previous Wins

Grant Enfinger

GettyGrant Enfinger celebrates a win in 2020.

Hensley has extensive experience as a crew chief in the national NASCAR series dating back to 1987. He has sat atop the pit box for 427 Xfinity Series races while guiding an assortment of drivers to a combined 11 wins. This includes the 1990 season when Chuck Brown won six races and captured the championship for HVP Motorsports.

Hensley made the move to the Truck Series during the 2003 season. He first worked with Bill Lester before joining forces with a former champion in Mike Skinner, whom he guided to eight total wins.

Hensley has spent 19 seasons working in the Truck Series, and he has celebrated 18 times in Victory Lane with a variety of drivers. This run includes five wins with Enfinger during their time together at ThorSport Racing.

The 2020 campaign was the best outing for the duo. They won four races together, including the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. Enfinger also reached the championship four while driving the No. 98, and he ultimately finished fourth behind three GMS Racing drivers.

Enfinger’s Former Teammate Needs Another New Crew Chief

With Hensley making a mid-season move, the attention now shifts to one of Enfinger’s former teammates. ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton will now require a new crew chief for the second time in 2022.

The three-time champion kicked off the year with Hensley atop the pit box after longtime crew chief Junior Joiner decided to step away from full-time competition. This decision ended a partnership that started in 2012 and featured 13 trips to Victory Lane.

Hensley and Crafton did not visit Victory Lane during their first 14 races together, but they kept the No. 88 Toyota in playoff contention. Crafton is just above the cutline with eight top-10 finishes and one top-five — a fifth-place run at Darlington Raceway.

ThorSport Racing has not revealed which crew chief will take over for Hensley on the No. 88 pit box. However, FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass noted that shop foreman/former crew chief Bud Haefele is the likely option for the immediate future.

Haefele is a veteran with 198 Truck Series races on his crew chief resume. He spent seven seasons (2005-2011) working with Crafton, a run that included two wins. Haefele also guided Chase Briscoe to a win during the 2018 season.

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