ARCA: Ty Gibbs is perfect in return to the Monster Mile

There was no slowing Ty Gibbs this time.

A year after watching a sure win get away at Dover International Speedway following late-race contact with the wall, the 18-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, put together a perfect day Friday in the ARCA Menards Series’ return to the “Monster Mile.”

Gibbs was fastest in practice, won the General Tire Pole Award, and led very lap en route to the win in the General Tire 125.

It is the second straight ARCA race that Gibbs has led every lap. He won pitched a shut out in the ARCA Menards Series race at Kansas Speedway on May 1. It’s also Gibbs’ 13th win across the three ARCA platforms.

The only real threat to Gibbs’ dominance at Dover came with 17 laps to go following the race’s final restart when Josh Berry gave Gibbs’ an extended battle for the lead. The two made contact in Turn 1, pushing Gibbs up the track, but he was able to maintain the top spot down the backstretch and pull away for the win.

Gibbs’ No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota crossed the finish line 0.88 seconds ahead of Berry.

Berry finished second in the start to a very busy weekend. In addition to the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday, the 2020 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series champion got tabbed to fill in for Justin Hayley Sunday and make his NASCAR Cup Series debut.

Ty Gibbs, driver of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, leads the race as Josh Berry, driver of the #41 Solid Rock Carriers Chevrolet, follows close behind during the General Tire 125 for the ARCA Menards Series East at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware, on May 14, 2021. (Craig Hudson/ARCA Racing)

Former NASCAR Cup Series driver David Gilliland finished third, while East championship points leader Sammy Smith rallied from an early cut right-front tire to finish fourth. Max Gutierrez rounded out the top five.

Daniel Dye was sixth, followed by Connor Mosack in seventh in his series’ debut, Joey Iest, Jade Buford and Ed Pompa.

Smith extended his championship lead after the fourth of eight races as misfortune fell challengers Mason Diaz (11th), Parker Retzlaff (12th) and Rajah Caruth (14th).

Smith, who earned a pair of free passes to get back on the lead lap, now leads Diaz by 22 points and Gutierrez by 23.

The ARCA Menards Series East will next race on Saturday, June 12, in the North Carolina 200 at Southern National Motorsports Park.

Race Results

1 1 18 Ty Gibbs Joe Gibbs Racing (Coy Gibbs) Toyota 125 running 125
2 7 41 Josh Berry Solid Rock Carriers (Bruce Cook) Chevrolet 125 running 0
3 6 17 David Gilliland DGR (David Gilliland) Ford 125 running 0
4 5 81 Sammy Smith * EngineIce (Coy Gibbs) Toyota 125 running 0
5 8 30 Max Gutierrez * Toughbuilt (Mark Rette) Ford 125 running 0
6 15 43 Daniel Dye * Race to Stop Suicide / Solar-Fit / Jeep Beach (Ben Kennedy) Chevrolet 125 running 0
7 14 02 Connor Mosack * Nic Taylor Custom Fit Underwear (Tyler Young) Chevrolet 125 running 0
8 2 54 Joey Iest * ASN / Basila Ranch (David Gilliland) Ford 125 running 0
9 12 11 Jade Buford Big Machine Vodka & Spiked Coolers (Andy Hillenburg) Ford 125 running 0
10 17 10 Ed Pompa Burt Crane Rigging / Double H Ranch (Andy Hillenburg) Toyota 121 running 0
11 9 74 Mason Diaz Mulch Mate / Solid Rock Carriers / Mechanix W (Marie Benevento) 118 overheating 0
12 11 42 Parker Retzlaff Ponsse / MMI (Bruce Cook) Toyota 113 running 0
13 13 28 Kyle Sieg * RSS Racing (Rod Sieg) Chevrolet 83 crash 0
14 3 6 Rajah Caruth * UTI / NTI / Max Siegel Inc (Max Siegel) Chevrolet 74 crash 0
15 18 12 Dick Doheny (Michelle Hillenburg) Toyota 27 mechanical 0
16 4 15 Drew Dollar Sunbelt Rentals (Bill Venturini) Toyota 24 crash 0
17 16 91 Justin S. Carroll Carroll’s Automotive (Terry Carroll) Toyota 21 crash 0
18 10 25 Jesse Love JBL (Cathy Venturini) Toyota 20 engine 0