Ty Gibbs took the victory after starting in the second position in dominating fashion at Pocono Raceway on Friday.
Gibbs took the lead early on lap 13 and held on through both competition cautions at lap 20 and lap 50. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver only lost the lead a couple of times, but was the class of the field in the remaining laps of the Anywhere Is Possible 200. Hoping for no caution, Gibbs fended off Chandler Smith and Sam Mayer for the win.
“Yeah, I had that happened to me at Phoenix this year,” Gibbs said hoping for no late race yellows. “I was being prepared for it, so I just kept going. I couldn’t quite get away from that 20 (Chandler Smith) because he was a little faster than me. I was really on nerves. I come here to win and I try to have a positive attitude, and that’s how I get through my days.”
Michael Self started on the pole based on Owner Points. Gibbs was second, while Drew Dollar, Chandler Smith and Bret Holmes rounded out the top five starting positions.
The first caution of the night flew early on lap 2. Thad Moffitt in the No. 46 DGR-Crosley machine had an engine expire and left him out of the race early. Due to the expiration of his engine, Moffitt was regulated to last place, finishing 20th.
Another driver had issues as the green flag dropped. In fact, it was Moffitt’s teammate Tanner Gray, who changed lanes before the start/finish line. Gray was penalized, as a driver cannot change their lanes before the green flag drops. By doing so, the DGR-Crosley driver, had to serve the penalty on pit road.
After the lap 9 restart, Venturini Motorsports driver Chandler Smith, took the lead momentarily. Though, it wasn’t long, until Gibbs had command on lap 13 and held his presence at the top spot through the first competition caution on lap 20. Self, Smith, Holmes, Mayer, Dollar, Griffith, Gray, Deegan, and Sean Corr were the top 10 drivers when the yellow flew.
The green flag would fly again for a restart at lap 24. Michael Self in the No. 25 Toyota was back in the lead again and looked to settle in as the leader. However, Gibbs car was just too strong for Self to hold off, as he was passed by Gibbs on lap 27.
Before the next competition caution on lap 50, there were a couple of notable incidents. The first on lap 32, where the No. 82 of Sean Corr was slow on the track. Despite being slow, Corr made it back to pit road without a yellow being flown. The second incident was seen on lap 38, this time an actual yellow was flown for Tanner Gray, who had hit the wall hard on the backstretch. The New Mexico native first Pocono run was cut short, as Gray would be credited with a 15th place finishing position.
An eight lap dash to the lap 50 comp yellow made the action exciting for a few laps. Gibbs once again led the field to lap 50 with Smith, Self, Mayer, Deegan, Dollar, Holmes, Griffith, Kitzmiller, and Huff the top 10 for the second comp yellow.
Shortly after the restart with 26 to go, a wreck by Jason Kitzmiller on the frontstretch slowed the pace once more, and brought out another yellow. Kitzmiller was okay from the incident, but placed 14th in the final running order after running in the top 10 for portions of the race.
From lap 59 to lap 80, there was a 21 lap green flag run to the finish that saw no yellow. Gibbs was out front, but did have a couple of challengers late in the going. Sam Mayer in the GMS entry tried to close the gap with 15 to go, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Mayer got passed by Chandler Smith for second with 13 to go, and set eyes on Gibbs.
Though, Gibbs proved no match for the field, as Smith ran out of time to catch him and the Joe Gibbs Racing driver went on to take his third career ARCA Menards Series victory.
There were five cautions for 24 laps and four lead changes among three different leaders.
Gibbs led twice for 65 laps en route to victory.
- Ty Gibbs
- Chandler Smith
- Sam Mayer
- Bret Holmes
- Michael Self
- Drew Dollar
- Hailie Deegan
- Derek Griffith
- Ryan Huff, 1 lap down
- Scott Melton, 1 lap down
- Ed Pompa, 3 laps down
- Sean Corr, 5 laps down
- Brad Smith, 8 laps down
- Jason Kitzmiller, OUT
- Tanner Gray, OUT
- Clay Greenfield, OUT
- Russ Lane, OUT
- Don Thompson, OUT
- Tommy Vigh Jr, OUT
- Thad Moffitt, OUT