Last August, in another ARCA Menards Series East race, Ty Gibbs dominated at Dover before a late crash ended his chance for victory.
Gibbs made sure history did not repeat itself on Friday as another strong effort finally led to a Monster Trophy as he won the “General Tire 125” ARCA Menards Series East race at Dover International Speedway.
Gibbs started from the pole position and led all 125 laps on his way to the checkered flag. It is the first ARCA Menards Series East race in track history to have just one leader throughout the event.
“I’m really thankful to run here,” Gibbs said. “I learned a lot for tomorrow.”
The 18-year-old will start 14th in Saturday’s “Drydene 200” NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash race (1:30 p.m., FS1).
Gibbs’ stiffest challenge came on the final restart on Lap 107, when he was side by side with Josh Berry for most of two laps before finally clearing him.
“I ran really hard and Josh ran hard,” Gibbs said. “There’s no other way to get by them.”
Gibbs, driving the No. 18 Toyota for his grandfather’s famed Joe Gibbs Racing team, beat Berry to the checkered flag. NASCAR Cup Series veteran David Gilliland was third, followed by ARCA Menards Series East points leader Sammy Smith in fourth and Max Gutierrez in fifth.
Some contenders had their race end before the final stages of the 125-lap event.
Jesse Love, the 2020 ARCA Menards Series West champion, completed just 20 laps before engine troubles forced his car to the garage.
Later, race officials added two extra competition cautions and granted each team four more tires to alleviate scarcity following early wear issues. Drew Dollar, Justin Carroll and Rajah Caruth all had tire issues before Lap 75 that led to hard, single-car crashes and ended their chances for a victory.
Nine cars finished on the lead lap, including Smith, who was two laps down early before finishing fourth.
Dover International Speedway’s NASCAR tripleheader weekend continues on Saturday with the “Drydene 200” NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash race, followed by the “Drydene 400” NASCAR Cup Series race (2 p.m., FS1) on Sunday.
Dover Motorsports PR