BROOKLYN, Mich. – Ty Gibbs did what he does best once again in the ARCA Menards Series Friday, leading almost every lap from the pole position in the Henry Ford Health Systems 200 at Michigan Int’l Speedway en route to his eighth victory this season.
The win comes in Gibbs’ first trip to the two-mile Irish Hills oval and marks back-to-back victories at the track for Joe Gibbs Racing, following Riley Herbst’s victory in 2020. The win also ties him for the most victories in a single season over the last decade. But with six races to go on the 2021 slate (including this upcoming Sunday), that number is likely to increase.
“That was a good time,” Gibbs said. “It’s more of a speedway style race with this package and horsepower. A good learning experience for me. Kind of taught myself today a little bit, blocking lines and runs. We got two more races this weekend, so it’ll be fun.”
Gibbs will compete in the Xfinity Series event Saturday at Michigan before heading to Springfield on Sunday for another ARCA Menards Series event, which will be his third race in as many days.
Out of his eight victories this season spanning short tracks, intermediates and now speedways, Gibbs says he holds this specific victory in high regard.
“It’s definitely at the top,” he said. “To win somewhere where Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, all the bad dudes won at. It’s awesome to win here. It’s incredible.”
A five-time winner this season, Corey Heim came up one spot short, settling for his 13th top five and fourth runner-up finish for Venturini Motorsports on the year. After pitting for extensive repairs before the scheduled break on Lap 30, Heim rebounded quickly and stayed on Gibbs’ bumper in the closing stages, trying to find any and every way around the No. 18 Toyota.
“We struggled a lot early in the day, threw pretty much the entire kitchen sink at it but we finally got something there at the end,” Heim said. “Drove it really hard those last couple laps, but that JBL Camry came a long way.”
Despite losing some ground in the championship points battle, the Marietta, Georgia native said he was “pretty satisfied” with his runner-up result given the circumstances.
“I could’ve done something to make Ty lose it or something,” Heim said with a smirk of the last 10 laps. “But at the end of the day I want people to respect me, and I don’t want to run into people throughout the day like other people do.”
The two championship rivals have now finished 1-2 in five races this season, with Gibbs getting the better of Heim three times. The good news for ARCA fans is that they don’t have to wait long to continue watching this battle with another race coming on Sunday afternoon.
Tying his best career finish of third was Nick Sanchez for Rev Racing, with Sam Mayer and Kyle Sieg rounding out the top five.
Ty Gibbs, Corey Heim, Nick Sanchez, Sam Mayer, Kyle Sieg, Gret Van Alst, Morgen Baird, Thad Moffitt, Jeffery MacZink, Brandon Varney, Brad Smith, Jason Kitzmiller, Gracie Trotter, Scott Melton, Zachary Tinkle, Connor Mosack, Tim Richmond, Drew Dollar, D.L. Wilson, Jason Miles.