A week after notching his first victory at Portland International Raceway, Jake Drew went back-to-back in the ARCA Menards Series West after winning the General Tire 200 at Sonoma Raceway from pole position on Saturday, June 11.
The 22-year-old Drew from Fullerton, California, and who drives for Sunrise Ford Racing, dominated from start to finish, leading a race-high 48 of 56 laps, and survived the carnage, a series of restarts and late challenges from Landen Lewis and Drew Moore before the latter two were collected in a late wreck that eventually shortened the event to claim the checkered flag under caution.
With on-track practice and qualifying sessions that determined the starting lineup occurring on Friday, Jake Drew started on pole position after clocking in a pole-winning lap at 1:20.397 in 89.108 seconds. Joining him on the front row was Landen Lewis, whose best lap occurred at 1:21.134 mph in 88.298 seconds.
When the green flag waved and the race started, Drew cleared the field entering the first turn to lead through the first three turns and approaching the return of the Chute from Turns 4 and 7. Through Turns 8 through 11, Drew retained the lead and led the first lap followed by Landen Lewis, Todd Souza, Dale Quarterley and Austin Herzog.
Through the first five laps, Drew remained as the leader ahead of Lewis, Souza, Quarterley and Herzog while Tanner Reif, Sebastian Arias, Paul Pedroncelli Jr., Jack Wood and Dean Thompson were in the top 10.
Four laps later, the first caution of the event flew when Nick Joanides stalled his car at the entrance of the temporary pit road on the Sonoma Raceway drag strip.
When the race restarted on Lap 13, Drew was able to retain the lead ahead of the field. Two laps later, however, the caution returned when Vince Little spun and wrecked in Turn 10.
At the start of the following restart on Lap 18, Drew and Souza battled dead even as Souza emerged as the new leader through the first two turns while the field scrambled for spots. Then through Turn 7A, Lewis made his move into the runner-up spot over Drew until Drew reassumed the spot through Turn 11.
Through the first 20 laps, Drew, who reassumed the lead from Souza when Souza went wide in Turn 7A during the previous lap, was ahead of Souza, Lewis, Quarterley, Cole Moore, Herzog, Tanner Reif, Joey Iest, Jack Wood and Colby Howard. Behind, Sebastian Arias and PJ Pdroncelli spun in Turn 11.
Three laps later, the caution flew when Robb Kneeland, who bumped and rubbed with Bridget Burgess through Turn 7A, got bumped by Brugess as he spun and collected Arias in the process, thus sending both into the tire barriers between Turns 7 and 8 and out of the event. The incident was one that left Burgess heated towards Arias. During the caution period, some led by Lewis pitted while the rest led by Drew pitted.
When the race restarted under green on Lap 29, Lewis took off with the lead at the start while Quarterley spun the tires on the inside lane as he briefly stacked up the field. Then as the field made its way through Turn 3A, the caution returned when Tanner Reif spun off the front nose of Joey Iest before he was T-boned on the right side by Takuma Koga.
With 30 laps remaining and the race restarted under green, Drew had to fend off a challenge from Cole Moore to retain the lead through the first two turns. Not long after in Turn 7A, Souza spun, but the race proceeded under green.
Two laps later, the caution returned when Tim Spurgeon spun and wrecked his car against the tire barriers in Turn 10.
When the race proceeded under green with 26 laps remaining, Drew retained the lead ahead of Moore as the field scrambled and jostled for positions up through the first four turns before entering the Chute and Turn 7.
Then with 22 laps remaining as the battle for the lead ignited between Drew, Moore and Lewis, Moore made a bold move to the outside of Drew to briefly take the lead until he went wide through Turn 11. This allowed Drew to reassume the lead as Lewis joined the battle for the lead.
During the following lap, Lewis took over the runner-up spot over Moore, who briefly went off the course and into the gravel in Turn 2, as Drew remained as the leader.
Following another caution period with 18 laps remaining due to debris reported in Turn 3, the race restarted four laps later. Drew took off with the lead on the outside lane entering Turn 1 while Colby Howard challenged Lewis for the runner-up spot. Then in Turn 11, Howard got into Lewis while battling for the runner-up spot as Lewis collected Moore with the latter two spinning. As Moore was trying to straighten his car, he got hit on the right side by Dean Thompson, Ryan Philpott and Paul Pedroncelli Jr. while Lewis continued.
The multi-car incident and the extensive cleanup period were enough for the event to conclude under caution eight laps shy of the finish to the 64-lap distance due to time constraints as Drew claimed his second consecutive victory in the ARCA Menards Series West. The victory also allowed Drew to retain his lead in the drivers’ championship standings by 35 points over Todd Souza, 37 over Tanner Reif, 38 over Cole Moore and 39 over Austin Herzog.
Colby Howard, a full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing who was making his ARCA Menards Series West debut, settled in second place followed by Dale Quarterley, Jack Wood and Joey Iest while Austin Herzog, Eric Nascimento, Todd Souza, Tim Spurgeon and Bridget Burgess completed the top 10.
There were four lead changes for two different leaders. The race featured seven cautions for 29 laps
1. Jake Drew, 48 laps led
2. Colby Howard
3. Dale Quarterley
4. Jack Wood
5. Joey Iest
6. Austin Herzog
7. Eric Nascimento
8. Todd Souza, two laps led
9. Tim Spurgeon
10. Bridget Burgess
11. Vince Little
12. Cole Moore
13. Andrew Tuttle
14. Landen Lewis
15. Dean Thompson – OUT, Accident
16. Paul Pedroncelli Jr. – OUT, Accident
17. Ryan Philpott – OUT, Accident
18. Tanner Reif – OUT, Accident
19. Takuma Koga – OUT, Accident
20. Rodd Kneeland – OUT, Accident
21. Sebastian Arias – OUT, Accident
22. Nick Joanides – OUT, Accident
23. Paul Pedroncelli – OUT, Accident
24. Brian Kamisky – OUT, Did not start
The replay of the Sonoma event will air on June 16 at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network.
Next on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series West schedule is the series’ second trip of the season to Irwindale Speedway, which will occur on July 2 at 10 p.m. ET on FloRacing.