For the past two weeks, NASCAR’s three national series haven’t held races due to the Olympic Games being broadcasted. Though even without the Cup, Xfinity, or Trucks racing, the ARCA Menards series still managed to put on a show, for better or for worse in some cases. The other night, the ARCA Menards Series raced the Calypso Lemonade 200, at “The World’s Fasted Paved Half-Mile,” Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana. The race was 200 laps for 100 miles, with Corey Heim in the No. 20 Venturini Motorsports Toyota starting on pole, setting a qualifying time of 15.796 seconds. The previous race’s winner, Ty Gibbs and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, would start in second, with Rev Racing’s Nick Sanchez and the No. 2 Chevrolet in third. Rookie Daniel Dye would start in fourth in his No. 21 GMS Chevrolet, with the No. 17 DGR Ford or Taylor Gray rounding out the top five. Though these five have been competitive every week, Ty Gibbs and Corey Heim have won all but one race this season.
As they took the green flag, Corey Heim and Ty Gibbs were in a close battle for the lead, using the entirety of the extremely wide, extremely banked turns. The two would swap the lead, until Gibbs made contact with the No. 10 of Brandon Varney. Gibbs would send Varney spinning, though his car would have plenty of damage, causing him to pit under the yellow flag for repairs.
After a while, Gibbs made his way back up to 5th place, challenging for and eventually taking 4th place from Taylor Gray Meanwhile, Corey Heim would extend his lead.
After the race break, Gibbs would make his way up to second, meanwhile Daniel Dye would fall down to fourth. Dye passed Gray very cleanly on the inside exiting turn four, with very little, if any, contact made at all. Though, for no apparent reason, Taylor Gray very blatantly intentionally wrecked Dye, turning left into his quarter panel and sending him into the frontstretch wall. Dye’s wrecked race car would collect the No. 2 of Nick Sanchez, ending both of their days prematurely. The red flag was displayed to clean up the damaged race cars.
After the red flag period ended and the green was displayed, Ty Gibbs and Corey Heim were once again in a close and fierce battle for the lead. The battle would continue for ages, with Heim holding a slim lead through lapped traffic, and Gibbs inches from his rear bumper. With four laps to go, Gibbs would be extremely aggressive using the bumper on Heim, and with three to go Gibbs would spin the No. 20, leading to another caution flag.
At the restart, the race came down to a green/white/checker, with Gibbs easily taking the lead over the second place car of Greg Van Alst. After taking the white flag, Gibbs would be unchallenged, winning the Calypso Lemonade 200 at Winchester!
Second place belonged to the No. 35 Ford of Greg Van Alst, Corey Heim in the No. 20 would recover to take third, Thad Moffit in the No. 46 DGR Ford would claim fourth, and Taylor Gray would finish off the top five in his No. 17 DGR Ford.
Photo Credit /// @ARCA_Racing, via Twitter