BRISTOL, Tenn. (Sept. 15, 2022) — Sammy Smith capped off a championship night Thursday with a dominant victory in the ARCA Menards Series Bush’s Beans 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Smith clinched a pair of titles at The Last Great Colosseum: the ARCA Menards East Series championship and the Sioux Chief Showdown title.
“It means a lot,” Smith said. “I was telling these guys the two championships mean a lot, but it wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t win the race. Thanks to them and all the guys who work hard all season. Glad we were able to pull it off.”
Smith started on the pole and led 189 of the 200 laps around Bristol’s high-banked concrete oval, passing Toyota teammate Brandon Jones on lap 11 and pacing the field the rest of the race.
Jones, though, made things interesting after a caution bunched the field for a two-lap shootout to the checkered flag. Smith took the outside lane for the restart, and he and Jones raced side by side for nearly a lap.
“That was a tough restart there,” Smith said. “Glad we were able to pull it off.”
A slip heading into Turn 3 forced Jones to check up and allowed Smith to drive away.
“It came to life those last 30 laps or so, and I really started to catch Sammy,” Jones said. “I think he got trapped in some traffic as well. … I gave it all I had, and I think I just got in too deep down in Turns 3 and 4. Kicking myself a little bit; that was kind of a dumb move on my behalf. But we were trying to go for it. Gosh, we only had one lap left.
“It would have been tough to beat him. Maybe if I could’ve stayed side by side for another lap, it would have been a different story.”
Jones finished second, with Taylor Gray third, Rajah Caruth fourth and Daniel Dye fifth. Parker Chase was sixth, followed by Andres Perez de Lara (in his series debut), Andy Jankowiak, Connor Mosack and Jesse Love.
ARCA Menards Series points leader Nick Sanchez finished 12th, allowing Dye to close the lead to five points with two races remaining in the 2022 season. Caruth is third, 30 points back.
The 10-race Sioux Chief Showdown is held on short tracks and road courses and is designed to be a competition between drivers who may not be old enough to compete for the full ARCA Menards Series title and those who are.
Smith won four of the 10 Sioux Chief Showdown races.
Smith, who is also entered in the Food City 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Friday, also won the ARCA Menards Series East title in 2021.