Smith Outfoxes Gibbs For Phoenix ARCA Win

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Chandler Smith celebrates in victory lane after winning Friday's ARCA Menards Series event at Pocono Raceway. (Ivan Veldhuizen Photo)
Chandler Smith celebrates in victory lane after winning Friday's ARCA Menards Series event at Pocono Raceway. (Ivan Veldhuizen Photo)

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Chandler Smith made a gamble call and it paid off.

The 17-year-old from Talking Rock, Ga., used pit strategy to get his No. 20 JBL Toyota out front of the ARCA Menards Series field, and he held off Ty Gibbs and Michael Self in a two-lap sprint to the finish to win Friday night’s General Tire 150 at Phoenix Raceway.

The race was also the first of 10 races in the Sioux Chief Showdown.

On the last pit stop, Smith’s team elected to change just two tires, which allowed him to start at the front.

The victory was Smith’s eighth in 21 ARCA Menards Series starts. He is running the full Sioux Chief Showdown schedule, as well as the ARCA Menards Series races at Kansas, Pocono and Springfield.

Self, the Daytona winner, overcame early electrical issues to nip Gibbs at the line by .022 seconds for second. Gibbs, who was fastest in practice and won the General Tire Pole Award, settled for a disappointing third-place finish after leading the most laps.

“I kicked their butts all day, the car was just so good,” Gibbs said. “We drove away from them and at the end there, we just got jacked. I was happy with how we ran. It just sucks what happend at the end.”

Tanner Gray finished fourth and Zane Smith.

The finish:

Chandler Smith, Michael Self, Ty Gibbs, Tanner Gray, Zane Smith, Nick Sanchez, Hailie Deegan, Chase Cabre, Lawless Alan, Gio Scelzi, Dawson Cram, Christian McGhee, Takuma Koga, Drew Dollar, Bret Holmes, Jesse Love, Armani Williams, Thad Moffitt, Tom Berte, Sam Mayer, Howie DiSavino III, Gracie Trotter, Tim Richmond, Ryan Huff.