Thursday, Jul 07

DGR ARCA Menards Series West Race Recap: Phoenix

Saturday, Nov 06 551

Taylor Gray, No. 17 Ripper Coffee Ford Fusion

Start: 3rd

Finish: 2nd

  • Taylor Gray concluded his season with the ARCA West finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway. He qualified third by way of his fastest lap from a combined practice and qualifying session.
  • At the drop of the green flag, the Ripper Coffee Fusion moved into second on the opening lap and was running there when the first yellow flag waved on lap 13.
  • Gray maintained the second position for the remainder of the opening stage and was fairly quiet on the radio. He reported that he needed just a little more rear grip to make a bid for the lead.
  • The team elected to come down pit road at the halfway break and change four tires, add fuel and make a few minor adjustments to gear up for the second half of the race.
  • Gray did everything he could on the ensuing restart to steal the lead, but a series of yellows put a damper on the side-by-side battle. He settled into second and focused on running his race.
  • The final yellow of the race came out on lap 66. The young driver gave it everything he had to take command of the race but came up just short and brought home a second-place finish.

Jake Garcia, No. 45 Ford Performance Fusion

Start: 4th

Finish: 6th

  • Jake Garcia made his first career ARCA Series start today at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway. The 16-year-old climbed in the car earlier today for a combined practice and qualifying session which earned him the fourth starting spot.
  • A race caution was displayed on lap 21 and Garcia relayed to his Mike Hillman Jr. led crew that his No. 45 Ford Fusion felt really free everywhere while in the ninth position.
  • During the break on lap 50, Garcia was in the sixth position and relayed to the crew that he needed to be tighter on exit. Garcia brought his Fusion to the attention of his crew for fuel, four tires and adjustments to improve his car's handling.
  • The Georgia native restarted the race from sixth for the final half of the event.
  • Back under green on lap 59, Garcia took over the fourth position after the recent adjustments improved the car's handling.
  • The young driver battled in the top-five for most of the remainder of the race. With 13 laps to go, Garcia swapped positions with teammate Jean-Phillipe Bergeron which moved him to sixth, where he ultimately finished.

JP Bergeron, No. 46 Prolon Ford Fusion

Start: 6th

Finish: 5th

  • For his third and final ARCA start of the season, JP Bergeron earned the fifth starting spot via a combined practice and qualifying session in the morning.
  • On lap 3, Bergeron reported his Ford Fusion was free on entry while in the ninth spot.
  • During the first caution on lap 13, Bergeron relayed to his crew that his car remained very loose.
  • The race returned to green and at the halfway break, Bergeron was eighth. He pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help tighten up his No. 45 Ford Fusion.
  • The caution was back out on lap 58 and Bergeron reported his car's balance was much better and he was in the eighth position.
  • The final 30 laps of the race were run under green and Bergeron used the run to improve his track position. With under 15 laps to go, he exchanged positions with teammate Jake Garcia and took over the fifth spot.
  • Bergeron completed the race in fifth, earning his second top-five and third top-10 in three ARCA Series starts.



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