For the first time in 14 years, the ARCA Menards Series made their return to the famous Milwaukee Mile Speedway in West Allis, Wisconsin Sunday afternoon and we saw a familiar face in victory lane as Ty Gibbs scored his ninth win of 2021.
Ty Gibbs qualified on the pole position for the eighth time this year and led every lap of the 150 lap event in the Sprecher 150 to win the event. It was his 17th career victory in the ARCA Menards Series.
“All these guys (pit crew), do so much for me and my team,” Gibbs said in victory lane. “These guys work their butts off and they want to win more than I do. That goes a lot into it (winning races). It’s just awesome, nine wins is crazy.
“I feel like it’s super cool to win here. This track has so much history. I remember being young and watching Denny Hamlin and Aric (Almirola) win here. It’s one of those things where I have to sit back and think about it (the win). I wouldn’t be here without all these guys and all of my sponsors.”
Coming into the 16th race of the 2021 ARCA season schedule, Ty Gibbs and Corey Heim were tied in the championship points standings. Gibbs had won eight times prior to Milwaukee, while Heim entered with six victories. Even with the pole position, Gibbs knew he couldn’t make a mistake with Heim running him down in the championship chase.
The Sprecher 150 was broken up into three segments with the first segment ending on Lap 50, the second on Lap 100 and the final segment ending on Lap 150.
Through the first segment break, Gibbs led every lap but had a few challengers along the way. One of those included his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith (who will compete in the ARCA Menards Series regular tour next year) behind Gibbs in second place. However, Smith would eventually be passed by the No. 21 of Daniel Dye on Lap 25, halfway to the race break.
Unfortunately, for the GMS Racing development driver Dye, he slid back to fifth in the running order just before the first segment ended.
As the second segment began, Gibbs had new contenders to deal with including championship favorite Corey Heim who overtook Smith for second place on Lap 54. Although, Dye fought his way back to the second position on Lap 85.
Even with the new challengers, Gibbs remained unmatched and led through the second segment that ended on Lap 100.
One of the most interesting moments during the race came on Lap 118 when the only natural caution occurred. The caution came as the No. 12 of Stephanie Moyer was spun by the No. 20 of Heim coming off Turn 2. Afterward, Heim had some minor damage but later reported the car was down on power.
With Heim facing challenges of his own, Gibbs knew it was his race to lose at this point. However, following the Lap 123 restart, NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Sam Mayer moved into second and began a rally on Gibbs in the final 20 laps. Mayer though was only able to get within 0.516 of Gibbs while chasing him down.
Even though Mayer did all he could to catch race leader Gibbs, the victory ultimately went to Ty Gibbs and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team for the ninth time this season. The victory also marked the third time in 2021 that Gibbs has led every lap in an ARCA Menards Series race. Mayer, Dye, Gray and Smith rounded out the top five finishers.
ARCA Menards East Series Champion, Mayer, finished second to earn the 21st top-five finish of his ARCA career.
“This place is really fun, I’ve never got to run here before today,” Mayer said. “I wish I would have got to a long time ago, this place is pretty awesome. I’m looking forward to hopefully ARCA coming back here next year and do a one-off race with these guys again because this place is just that fun.
“NASCAR needs to come here, this place will put on a show for sure.”
Daniel Dye in the No. 21 GMS machine completed the podium finish for the third time this season.
“It was really cool trying to figure out the air,” Dye said about the third place finish. “It was fun racing Sam, and him trying to reel in Ty. (Crew chief) Chad Bryant and the GMS Racing group brought a great Solar-Fit, Heise LED Chevy. Milwaukee’s a flat race track and this was the first time I’ve ever been on a flat race track, so I had a lot of fun. Jeff Green did awesome spotting for me and helped out a lot as well. Honestly can’t wait for Bristol, being a track I’ve actually raced at before unlike every other start I’ve had in this 21 car.”
Gibbs led all 150 laps from pole position en route to victory. There were three cautions for 14 laps.
Official Results following the Sprecher 150 at Milwaukee Mile:
- Ty Gibbs, led 150 laps
- Sam Mayer
- Daniel Dye
- Taylor Gray
- Sammy Smith
- Corey Heim
- Jesse Love
- Joey Iest
- Thad Moffitt
- Gracie Trotter
- Parker Retzlaff
- Nick Sanchez
- Rajah Caruth
- Ron Vandermeir Jr, 1 lap down
- Max Gutierrez, 2 laps down
- Connor Mosack, 3 laps down
- Alex Clubb, 7 laps down
- Jason Miles, 9 laps down
- Mason Diaz, 10 laps down
- Stephanie Moyer, 11 laps down
- Eric Caudell, OUT, Radiator
- Brad Smith, OUT, Handling
- Tony Cosentino, OUT, Vibration
- Arnout Kok, OUT, Did Not Start
Up Next: The ARCA Menards Series will head to DuQuoin State Fairgrounds for the annual Southern Illinois 100 Sunday, Sept. 5, and will air live on MAV TV at 9 p.m./ET.