Story By: TODD HAISLOP / ARCA – CONCORD, NC – Evidently, Ty Gibbs leading every lap in an ARCA Menards Series race is not good enough for the 18-year-old.
On Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he did just that en route to his second trip to Victory Lane in one day.
Driving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Gibbs led all 100 laps of the General Tire 150 hours after he took the checkered flag in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the 1.5-mile quad oval in Concord, North Carolina.
Gibbs now has won four of the six races the ARCA Menards Series has contested in 2021. He won his second Xfinity Series race in his sixth series start.
The Saturday sweep makes Gibbs the first driver two win both an ARCA Menards Series race and a NASCAR national series race since Sam Mayer did so with ARCA Menards and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins at Bristol Motor Speedway last season.
“What a hell of a day right there,” said Gibbs. “I can’t thank everybody enough. I guess we gotta bring out the broom now; that’s two in one day. I’m tired. I might take this (car) back to my house and just take a nap.”
Gibbs opened the month of May leading all 100 laps at Kansas Speedway. The 100 additional laps he led Saturday night at Charlotte give him 490 laps led in 2021, easily the most in the series.
The only other driver who has won in the ARCA Menards Series this season, Corey Heim, finished second at Charlotte after fighting his race car all day.
Heim, whose second-place finish allows him to keep his points lead over Gibbs, qualified ninth in the afternoon session ahead of the race.
“I was really disappointed with our speed and the overall handling of our car,” said Heim. “It’s pretty unbelievable that we finishes second, honestly, for how awful we were in practice.
“In hindsight, I think we just needed to bring a different car. We had some issues at Kansas, as well.”
Two of Heim’s teammates at Venturini Motorsports finished behind him, with Drew Dollar and Parker Chase ending up third and fourth, respectively.
Nick Sanchez, who at times throughout Saturday night’s race appeared to be the only driver who could compete with Gibbs, finished fifth.
Sanchez passed Gibbs for the lead on a restart with 35 laps to go, but he was unable to hold off the eventual race winner by the time they reached the start/finish line.
“I think we had a left rear going down,” Sanchez said of dropping to fifth after running in the top three throughout the race. “That last lap, I really felt it; I felt the rear end wiggle.”
Jack Wood, Thad Moffitt, Dave Mader III, Andy Jankowiak and Chris Hacker rounded out the top 10.
Not including a scheduled competition caution at the halfway point, Saturday’s race featured four cautions for incidents. Moffitt spun by himself on Lap 29. Jason Miles did the same with nine laps to go.
A blown engine on D.L. Wilson’s car and a flat tire on Kyle Sieg’s car also brought out cautions.
The ARCA Menards Series will return to action next week at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, for the Dawn 150 on Friday, June 4. It will mark the series’ 1,500th race.