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Gibbs crowned 37th ARCA champion, Sanchez emerges at Kansas

L: Nick Sanchez, pictured before the ARCA Menards Series race at Elko (Minn.) Speedway (Photo: Jonathan Fjeld/TRE); R: Ty Gibbs, driver of the No. 18 ARCA Menards Series Toyota Camry (Photo: Jeremy Thompson)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The king of the ARCA Menards Series put on his own coronation in Saturday night’s Reese’s 150 at Kansas Speedway but not everyone was ready to kiss the ring by night’s end, as ARCA champion Ty Gibbs was passed late for the win by first-time winner Nick Sanchez.

Photo: Jonathan Fjeld/TRE

Sanchez earned his first career ARCA Menards Series win after making a three-wide pass on Gibbs and Corey Heim – the top 2 in the ARCA championship – during an overtime restart.

The overtime restart was set up by a caution with six laps to go for Eric Caudell, who blew a right-front tire.

On the restart, Sanchez made a three-wide, frontstretch pass on Heim and Gibbs. Sanchez cleared them exiting turn two and held on to join the likes of Landen Lewis, Daniel Dye and Jesse Love who each won their first ARCA Menards Series race in 2021.

The Top 10 finishers were as follows: Nick Sanchez (led 2 laps), Ty Gibbs (led 100 laps), Corey Heim, Drew Dollar, J.P. Bergeron, Kris Wright, Kyle Sieg, Dean Thompson, Rajah Caruth, Parker Chase.

Dollar, Bergeron, Wright and Thompson each earned their best-career ARCA Menards Series finish – finishing 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th, respectively.

Connor Mosack finished 11th and also earned his best-career ARCA Menards Series finish.

Race winner Nick Sanchez, in 2022, will run full-time for REV Racing in the ARCA Menards Series full-time and part-time for B.J. McLeod Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Although Gibbs finished second and did not cap off his historic season with win No. 11, he finished the season with 1590 laps led which broke Tim Steele’s 1996 modern-era record of 1514 laps led.

Gibbs, in 2021, broke the record despite running 758 fewer laps than Steele in 1996.

Photo: Dominic Aragon/TRE

Corey Heim finished the season 2nd in points with 6 wins, 16 Top 5s, 20 Top 10s, 3 poles, 405 laps led and 1004 points.

Had Heim done this in 2020, he would have won the championship over Bret Holmes by 1 point.

Corey Heim (20) during the Herr’s Potato Chips 200 at Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio.

The full 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule has yet to be announced but MAVTV confirmed Daytona will be run as the opener and, Talladega and Toledo are back on the schedule. MAVTV also confirmed Toledo will host the finale for the first time since 2011.

In 2008, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Scott Speed exacted retaliation on each other while racing for the championship at Toledo, which took them out of the race and paved the way for Justin Allgaier to win the championship.

SOURCES:
ARCA Racing
Racing-Reference.Info

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