LONG POND, Pa. – Ty Gibbs made his first superspeedway start in the ARCA Menards Series a memorable one by dominating the #AnywhereIsPossible 200 Friday evening at Pocono Raceway.
Gibbs, 17, was in his own league most of the evening, only losing the lead during a few restarts over the course of the 80-lap event. Each time he lost the lead Gibbs, who started second, was able to chase down the leader and regain the lead.
He took the lead for the final time at the exit of turn one on lap 28 after a fight with ARCA Menards Series championship leader Michael Self and would lead the remainder of the distance.
“Michael raced me really hard, he’s got way more experience. He’s like the grandfather of this deal, he’s got probably 30 more years experience than every one of the little kids like me do,” Gibbs said. “It was good to learn from him for the couple of laps I was behind him. He bombed it in there (turn one) and got loose and I took one of his mistakes and I passed him and I took the lead and I just took off.”
Gibbs survived two restarts in the final 30 laps, one following the second of two controlled pit stop breaks and one for a wreck during the ensuing restart. He led a race-high 65 laps.
The victory by Gibbs and the Joe Gibbs Racing team snapped a three-race win streak to start the season for Venturini Motorsports. It was Gibbs’ third ARCA Menards Series victory and his first of the year.
Venturini driver Chandler Smith was able to finish second after taking the position away from Sam Mayer with 12 laps left. Mayer, who started 18th in the field after the lineup was set by owner points, finished third.
Bret Holmes and Self completed the top-five finishers.
The race featured 20 starters, with only the top-eight finishers finishing on the lead lap. Seven drivers failed to finish the race.
Ty Gibbs, Chandler Smith, Sam Mayer, Bret Holmes, Michael Self, Drew Dollar, Hailie Deegan, Derek Griffith, Ryan Huff, Scott Melton, Ed Pompa, Sean Corr, Brad Smith, Jason Kitzmiller, Tanner Gray, Clay Greenfield, Russ Lane, Don Thompson, Tommy Vigh Jr., Thad Moffitt.