In what was a dominating win in dominating fashion. Ty Gibbs was able to put the No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota Camry back into ARCA victory lane for the second time this season in Saturday night’s ARCA Menards Series Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200 at Salem Speedway.
It was a clean sweep for Gibbs who led the way in the only practice session and qualified on the pole with a time of 17.14 seconds to equal 116.535 miles per hour.
“That’s all due to my right foot, the guys who build these great racecars and the man upstairs,” Gibbs said in victory lane. “It’s great to come out here and get our second win of the season. We aren’t racing for the championship so it’s all about wins for us.”
It didn’t take long for Gibbs to get out front, in fact he led the first 172 laps and fended off battles from Venturini Motorsports drivers Michael Self and Christian Eckes to score the second win of the year. It wasn’t all that easy though for the Charlotte, North Carolina native.
The race featured five cautions for 34 laps. The first caution flag was flown on lap 23 for debris, as the second caution was seen on lap 75 with the No. 55 of Gavin Harlein who suffered mechanical problems and the car came to a stop right before pit road.
The third yellow of the night was for the No. 06 machine of Tim Richmond. Richmond’s night was done early as the car would have engine woes that took him out of the race. The No. 11 of Ed Pompa wound up spinning around bringing out the fourth caution. Then the final yellow came out on lap 186 for debris.
After the last caution, this saw drivers come down pit road in hopes of making one last adjustment in trying to beat Ty Gibbs for the win.
One driver came close to doing so and that was Eckes and his No. 15 Venturini Motorsports team. The team put Eckes out front, but just for four laps before Gibbs retook with a nine lap run to the finish.
Eckes would have to settle for a second place finish, but gained some points on championship points leader Michael Self after Self had his problems earlier in the night.
“It’s great to have Salem behind us,” Eckes said. “This isn’t my favorite track and to come out of here with that big of a gain on Michael is huge for us. It sucks we couldn’t get up there and race Ty for the win but we’ll take second and head to Indianapolis and go race for the win there.”
Eckes sits second in the standings, 70 points behind with two races remaining on the ARCA schedule.
Self on the other hand had to settle for a 14th place finish after a broken left control arm was experienced while he was running second at the time.
“We’ve had too many mechanical problems this season,” Self said. “All we want to go is come out here and race for wins. We’re going to put tonight behind us and go to Indy and Kansas to go win some races.”
In the meanwhile, lost in all the shuffle during the run to the championship is a championship within the championship. The CGS Imaging Four Crown Championship was crowned Saturday night following the race. In the running for the title was Michael Self, Bret Holmes, Travis Braden and Joe Graf Jr.
With Self suffering from mechanical woes and was many laps down when returning to the race, Holmes stayed on track and finished fourth, just enough to lock up the prestigious title at Salem. Holmes has had a impressive 2019 season so far with seven top fives and 16 top-10 finishes with an average finish of 7.4.
Up Next: The ARCA Menards Series drivers takes a couple of weeks off before heading to the short-track of Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday night October 5.
- Ty Gibbs, led 196 laps
- Christian Eckes, led four laps
- Corey Heim
- Bret Holmes
- Sam Mayer
- Joe Graf Jr
- Carson Hocevar
- Chandler Smith, one lap down
- Travis Braden, one lap down
- Colby Howard, one lap down
- Ed Pompa, 10 laps down
- Scott Melton, 10 laps down
- Mike Basham, 16 laps down
- Michael Self, 66 laps down
- Tim Richmond, OUT, Overheating
- Gavin Harlien, OUT, Engine
- Brian Finney, OUT, Vibration
- Brad Smith, OUT, Oil Pressure
- Tommy Vigh Jr, OUT, Brakes
- Dick Doheny, OUT, Transmission
- Benjamin Peterson, OUT, Clutch