Rain washed out qualifying for the ARCA Menards “General Tire 150 at Phoenix Raceway” and the starting lineup was set by practice speeds. Ty Gibbs started on the pole, with Corey Heim starting next to him on the front row.
The drivers in the front row were there at the end as Gibbs won the race and Heim finished second. The race was held up by a light drizzle at lap 143 that lead to a Joey Lest spinout, with Gibbs in the lead and Heim second. When the race resumed with one-lap to go Gibbs was strong with restart and pulled away.
It was Gibbs first ARCA Menards Series win of the 2021 season and tomorrow he will race in the Xfinity Series race at Phoenix.
Gibbs and Heim dominated the race and ran first and second for the first 57-laps. After two races this season they have split the wins.
The race got off with a bang after an opening lap crash by Zane Smith knocked out Gracie Trotter, Jack Wood and Toni Breidinger.
All four drivers were evaluated and released from the infield care center after the crash.
At lap 57 Bobby Hillis spun out and struck the wall. During the yellow flag Gibbs pitted, got four new tires and got back on track in 10th place. Heim got back on track just behind Gibbs in 11th.
Taylor Gray led after the race resumed on lap 65. Gibbs began working his way back to the front after re-starting 10th. By lap 68, Gibbs was in fourth. During lap 76 Gibbs got up to second place and then the competition caution flag was thrown.
Under the competition caution race leader Gray was penalized for fueling while simultaneously changing tires. With the penalty, Gibbs took the lead and Gray fell to 17th.
The race resumed under green at lap 85 with Gibbs leading. Heim worked his way to third by lap 86 and second by lap 89. At lap 98 Gibbs had the lead with Heim second and Nick Sanchez third.
The pace continued until lap 120 when Sanchez crash hard into the wall in turn one and the red flag flew. Sanchez exited the vehicle under his own power and the race was held at lap 125. He was evaluated and released from the infield care center.
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The race resumed under green at lap 133 with Thad Moffitt in the lead, followed by Todd Souza, Gibbs and Heim. By lap 134 Gibbs had the lead with Heim in second. Gibbs pushed his lead over Heim to more than two-seconds by lap 140.
Even with the one-to-go restart at the end of the race Gibbs controlled the evening and Heim was always in his rear view mirror. Thad Moffitt, Kyle Sieg and Derek Kraus rounded out the Top 5.
The next ARCA Menards Series race is on Saturday April 24 at Talladega Superspeedway.