Gibbs wins ARCA at Bristol; Sammy Smith claims East title
Joe Gibbs Racing took home two trophies from Thursday night’s ARCA Menards Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Ty Gibbs dominated the race from start to finish, leading 197 of the 200 laps and cruised to a 2.431-second win over his JGR teammate Sammy Smith.
The win is the 10th of the season and 18th of his career for the 18-year-old grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs.
The second-place finish was also good enough to allow Smith, also 18, to win the ARCA East series championship as Thursday night’s race was an ARCA/ARCA East combination event.
The two young drivers did a nose-to-nose burnout on the frontstretch after the race to celebrate JGR’s big night.
“First of all, this is just awesome – it really means a lot,” Gibbs said. “To have my teammate and close friend wrap up his championship, it’s just awesome. A great night for our organization. This is just amazing.”
Smith ended the ARCA East season with three wins, seven top-five and seven top-10 finishes in the eight-race schedule.
“I had a good day. A 1-2 for Gibbs,” Smith said. “I can’t thank the guys on (Gibbs’) team enough for getting me through these last couple races.
“We just had to hang on tonight. We were just a little bit tight. I felt like we had a second-place car and that was all we were going to get out of it. I tried there at the end, but it just wasn’t enough.”
Last week’s winner at Portland, Taylor Gray, finished third, Nick Sanchez was third and Corey Heim rounded out the top-five.