On Saturday, July 17, 2021, the ARCA Menards Series returned to Marne, Michigan for the Zinsser SmartCoat 200 at Berlin Raceway. The front row was taken by Daniel Dye on pole in the No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet, making his second start of his career in the ARCA Menards series. This season’s wins leader Ty Gibbs would be starting second in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, with last week’s winner Corey Heim in the No. 20 Venturini Toyota starting third. Dye took first place by setting a qualifying time of 16.468, only about five hundredths of a second faster than Gibbs.
In the opening laps, Daniel Dye was opening the gap between himself and Ty Gibbs, while Corey Heim would drop to fourth giving P3 to Taylor Gray in the No. 17 David Gilliland Racing Ford. Heim would later find himself caught behind some lapped traffic, allowing Venturini Motorsports teammate Jesse Love to take third position.
The first caution would come on lap 34 when the No. 50 Chevy of Morgan Alexander spun in turn four, right in front of race leader Daniel Dye. Dye was quickly able to swerve to the right and avoid the spinning car, saving what could’ve been an awful end for his so far dominant run. Resuming racing on lap 40, Dye was again able to pull away from Ty Gibbs. Not much would happen for quite a few laps, though with three laps until the end of the segment, the No. 2 Rev Racing Chevrolet of Nick Sanchez would put the bumper to fifth place car of Jesse Love, taking the position. The first segment of the race would end on lap 76, bringing out the yellow flag once again.
With the green flag coming out on lap 80, Daniel Dye wouldn’t pull away from the 2nd place car of Ty Gibbs. Gibbs and Dye would battle for the lead for a few laps, with Dye still ahead of Gibbs for each lap. Gibbs would eventually move the No. 21 out of the way with a very aggressive move exiting turn four, though he still could not overtake Dye. Not much would happen in the second segment, and the yellow would be displayed at lap 125, signifying the end of the segment.
The race would continue on lap 130, though not even a lap later the yellow flag would fly. Gracie Trotter in the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota would be squeezed three wide and come down to make contact with the No. 46 DGR Ford of Thad Moffit, sending her spinning and bringing out the fourth caution, and only the second for incident.
Throughout the rest of the race, Daniel Dye continued to dominate. Further back, Taylor Gray and Jesse Love would battle for fourth position, with Gray eventually getting the better of Love. In the closing laps, Ty Gibbs would gain huge amounts of time on the leader. So much so, that it seemed that the No. 21 of Dye wasn’t even trying. Eventually, with one lap to go, the gap between first and second place was less than a second, and at one point Gibbs was a car length behind Dye. It wouldn’t be enough, though, as Daniel Dye and the No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet would win at Berlin. Ty Gibbs would finish second, with Corey Heim in third, Taylor Gray in fourth and Jesse Love rounding out the top 5.
Photo Credit /// Kevtron Media