AVONDALE, Ariz. – After leading all the laps in the Arizona Lottery 100, Ty Gibbs wraps up a highly successful 2021 national stock car season with another trophy in the ARCA Menards Series West at Phoenix Raceway.
“I felt like lapped traffic was one of the biggest challenges,” Gibbs said. “I felt like we were at a dirt race almost. Pick and choose your lines; make sure the right one rolled. Just a great day.”
Before the green flag waved, Ryan Roulette had trouble with his car and forced the field to take two more pace laps before starting the race. When the field took the green, it was a more mellow start than anticipated with all the extra space in the dogleg.
On Lap 2, drama already unfolded for the West championship battle, as Paul Pedroncelli, Jr. went for a spin in Turns 1 and 2. After starting 14th, he dropped as low as 33rd. To make matters worse for his race, ARCA officials kept the race under green flag conditions. He would eventually lose a lap to the leaders after a few more circuits due to flat-spotting his tires.
About 10 laps later, Toni Breidinger spun in Turns 3 and 4 with a little damage after contact with Caleb Costner. The yellow was put out, but Gibbs had put more cars a lap down and trapped Pedroncelli one lap down. Both drivers were able to continue in the race.
On the restart, Gibbs was able to continue his lead but Taylor Gray and Sammy Smith stayed close with him on the opening laps. In that run on Lap 28, Bobby Hillis Jr. spun on the exit of Turn 2. As the caution was put out, Costner spun again as the field started to slow after accidental contact with Dean Thompson. All three drivers were able to continue, but Costner suffered more damage and had to go to pit road for service.
The field would face one more yellow before the halfway break when the No. 17 of Connor Jones spun on Lap 37.
At the Lap 50 break, Gibbs had led all 50 laps thus far. Because of all the cautions, Pedroncelli was able to get back on the lead lap and fight his way up to the 19th position and be back in the hunt for the championship title. Jake Drew was the highest championship driver in 14th with Joey Iest, Jesse Love and Cole Moore behind him in the next three spots. Love held the championship lead by just one point.
After teams made adjustments, changed tires and added fuel, competitors were sent back on the track. They took the green, followed quickly by another caution on Lap 57 after Breidinger was spun by Josh Fanopoulos. She suffered heavy damage to the rear of the car, but after laps in pit road repairing her No. 55 Toyota, she was able to continue the race but multiple laps down.
The final caution flag of the day came on Lap 67 with Eric Nascimento crashing on the exit of Turn 4, just shy of the start-finish line. The damage proved terminal, ending his last race of the year early.
Gibbs would go on to lead the rest of the race and claim a historic sweep of the season-long Valvoline Lap Leader award (224 laps led) for the ARCA Menards Series West after leading 224 laps in the year. He also won the award in the ARCA Menards Series and the East Series.
Gray finished second after a few attempts to pass Gibbs on the restarts, 2.29 seconds behind. Sammy Smith would slide into third, with Nick Sanchez and J.P. Bergeron completing the top five. Jake Garcia, Drew Dollar, Rajah Caruth, Gracie Trotter and Cole Moore, who would win the three-way tie breaker for the Bounty Rookie of the Year, round out the top 10 at Phoenix.
Results of the 2021 Arizona Lottery 100 at Phoenix Raceway
Saturday, November 6, 2021 at Phoenix Raceway, Avondale, AZ
- 100 laps on a 1.000 mile paved track (100.000 miles)
- Time of race: 1:10:9
- Average speed: 85.531 mph
- Pole speed: 135.064 mph
- Cautions: 6 for 26 laps
- Margin of victory: 2.291 sec
- Lead changes: 0
|1||1||1||18||Ty Gibbs||Monster / Terrible Herbst / ORCA||Coy Gibbs||Toyota||100||Running||100||49|
|2||2||3||71||Taylor Gray||Ripper Coffee Company||David Gilliland||Ford||100||Running||0||42|
|3||3||2||81||Sammy Smith||Engine Ice||Coy Gibbs||Toyota||100||Running||0||41|
|4||4||9||2||Nick Sanchez||Sunoco / Max Siegel Inc.||Max Siegel||Chevrolet||100||Running||0||40|
|5||5||6||46||J.P. Bergeron||DGR||Johnny Gray||Ford||100||Running||0||39|
|6||6||4||45||Jake Garcia||DGR||David Gilliland||Ford||100||Running||0||38|
|7||7||7||15||Drew Dollar||Sunbelt Rentals||Bill Venturini||Toyota||100||Running||0||37|
|8||8||8||66||Max Siegel Inc.||Max Siegel||Chevrolet||Chevrolet||100||Running||0||36|
|9||9||10||20||Gracie Trotter||Calico Coatings||Billy Venturini||Toyota||100||Running||0||35|
|10||10||20||99||Cole Moore||NAPA Power Premium Plus||Alex McAnally||Toyota||100||Running||0||34|