Yesterday, the ARCA Menards Series returned to Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Last year’s winner at this track is Ty Gibbs in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, who started on pole by setting a qualifying time of 24.2 seconds. Last week’s winner Daniel Dye started P2 driving the No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet, making his third career start in the ARCA Menards series. In the opening lap, Gibbs opened a wide lead to his teammate Sammy Smith in the No. 81 JGR Toyota, with the No. 17 DGR Ford of Taylor Gray moving up to third, while Daniel Dye would drop down to 4th. This wouldn’t last for long, though, as the caution flags would wave on lap two, due to the No. 74 of Mason Diaz spinning in turn two.
Under yellow, Daniel Dye would pit for an electrical or engine issue, dropping to the rear of the field, giving the front row to the Numbers 18 and 81 Toyotas of Ty Gibbs and Sammy Smith for Joe Gibbs Racing.
By lap 19, Gibbs would pull away to a lead of more than two seconds, with Taylor Gray in second and JGR teammate Smith in third. Not long after, the No. 7 Toyota of Eric Caudell would spin in turn four, bringing out the second caution of the night.
In the opening laps of the restart, the No. 17 of Gray and No. 18 of Gibbs would open a small gap between themselves and the other cars, though exiting turn four, Gray would go sideways on the inside lane of Gibbs and miraculously save the car, sending him back to the main pack of cars.
On lap 27, the No. 54 DGR Ford of Joey Iest would lose the car in the middle of turn four, collecting the No. 42 of Conner Jones, and hitting the barrier hard.
After the restart, the No. 81 of Sammy Smith, who had been running near the front, being a possible contender for the win, would hit the wall. Smith’s chances of winning would unfortunately end early.
The first segment would end around lap 50, with Ty Gibbs leading and Daniel Dye having moved himself all the way to third place after that early race adjustment.
Most of segment two would be rather tame, with Gibbs once again pulling away. During this stint, the No. 81 would once again hit the wall, this time heading to the garage. Much of the segment otherwise would be calm, until lap 85, when the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota of Drew Dollar would spin in the front straightaway, bringing out the caution once again. After going green, not much would happen until lap 100, when the second segment would end, bringing out the final caution of the night.
At the restart for the final segment, Ty Gibbs would once again pull away. For much of the night, no one could touch Gibbs on the restarts, and this time was no different. Gibbs would lead every lap in the segment, and nearly every lap in the race. He would win at Iowa, with Daniel Dye in second, Taylor Gray placing third, points leader Corey Heim in the No. 20 Venturini Toyota placing 4th, and Nick Sanchez in the No. 2 Rev Racing Chevrolet rounding out the top 5.
Photo Credit///Mark Kristl, Frontstretch.com