TOLEDO, Ohio – Chandler Smith won the rain shortened ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 presented by Federated Car Care Sunday at Toledo Speedway, leading 140 of the race’s 152 laps.
Rain threatened throughout the day, but the race started on time. Smith started second, alongside Venturini Motorsports teammate Michael Self, who earned the General Tire Pole Award in qualifying on Saturday.
Self would lead the first ten laps but faced pressure from Smith the entire time. Eventually, Smith would dip to the inside and work his way by and drove off to a full straightaway advantage over the battle for second.
Smith could see the rain was coming as the race ran to its ultimate conclusion, and even hoped it would come sooner than later.
“Whenever you’re the leader and you can see rain coming and the race is past halfway you want it to hurry up and get there,” Smith said. “I knew as soon as it started raining it wasn’t going to stop so we needed to get out front and stay out front. That’s what we did. These Venturini Motorsports guys do a great job giving me racecars that can dominate these races. I drive them the same way I drive my late model cars and that’s where we were able to beat them all today. We had more drive off the corners and that’s what it took.”
Ty Gibbs finished second, his third runner-up finish in four career ARCA Menards Series races.
“I don’t know what the record is for most second-place finishes before someone gets their first win,” Gibbs asked, “but I think we’re in the hunt for it. We’re getting a little tired of finishing second at this point. We just ran out of time before the rain came. I think we needed another ten laps and we could have had something for them at the end.”
Christian Eckes finished third, Self was fourth, and Sam Mayer was fifth.
The race was slowed a total of four times by caution flags, two for incidents and two for rain, one of which ultimately ended the race. The first incident happened on lap 30 involving Joe Graf Jr. and Hailie Deegan, both of whom made contact with the foam blocks lining the outside wall in turn three. Graf would finish 17th and Deegan would finish 18th, and last, in her series debut.
The second incident of the day involved the championship leader going into the race Travis Braden, who hit the blocks in turn one on lap 79. Braden would finish 13th, falling back to second in the standings, 25 points behind Self.
Chandler Smith, Ty Gibbs, Christian Eckes, Michael Self, Sam Mayer, Carson Hocevar, Bret Holmes, Tanner Gray, Tommy Vigh Jr., Corey Heim, Tim Richmond, Alex Clubb, Travis Braden, Rick Clifton, Dick Doheny, Mike Basham, Joe Graf Jr., Hailie Deegan.