“Lucky Seven” to contend for ARCA Menards Series West title
Seven drivers are mathematically eligible to win the ARCA Menards Series West championship this Saturday at 3 p.m. ET (Live on Trackpass on NBC Sports Gold, MRN and SiriusXM). And five of them are within six points of each other, meaning fans will need to stick around until the checkered flag flies to see who wins the title.
Defending series champion Jesse Love leads PJ Pedroncelli by one point, Jake Drew is third three points out of the lead, Joey Lest is fourth five points behind, Cole Moore is six points behind in fifth, Trevor Huddleston is sixth 15 points out of the lead, and Todd Souza is seventh 26 points back.
Lest leads all drivers with six top-five finishes in the eight previous races. And Drew leads all drivers with seven top-ten finishes. He also leads with three General Tire Pole Awards.
ARCA Menards Series West
Next Race: Arizona Lottery 100
The Place: Phoenix Raceway
The Date: Saturday, November 6
The Time: 3 p.m. ET
Live TV: Trackpass on NBC Sports Gold, 3 p.m. ET
Tape-delayed TV: NBCSN, Thursday, November 11, 5 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM (XM Channel 391, online channel 981)
Distance: 100 miles (100 Laps)
Field of champions
Saturday’s field will already be a decorated group before the West champion is even crowned. The 2021 ARCA Menards Series champion Ty Gibbs and the ARCA Menards Series East champion Sammy Smith will both be running in the 36-car field.
Gibbs won the ARCA Menards Series title on the strength of 10 wins, including the race at Phoenix early in the season. He also won four races in the East and one in the West this year.
Smith won three races en route to capturing the title in the East. This weekend’s race will mark his debut in the West series, as well as his track debut at Phoenix.
Gibbs can sweep the Valvoline Lap Leader Award if he leads 59 more laps than Jesse Love, 32 more laps than Taylor Gray, and 20 more laps than Dean Thompson. Gibbs won the Valvoline Lap Leader Award in both the ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East.
Phoenix ARCA Fun Facts:
- The Arizona Lottery 100 is the ninth and final race of the 2021 ARCA Menards Series West season. It will be the 47th time the series has raced at Phoenix Raceway and the 993rd race in series history.
- The first West race at Phoenix was in November 1977 and was won by Cale Yarborough. It was his first and only series victory.
- Other first time West winners at Phoenix include Richard Petty, Neil Bonnett, Rich Woodland, Jr., Mike Wallace, Burney Lamar, Andrew Myers, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Gray Gaulding, Cole Custer, Nick Drake, Todd Gilliland, and Ty Gibbs.
- Todd Gilliland and David Gilliland are the only father-son duo to have won West races at Phoenix. The elder Gilliland is the most recent winner of the race, and although not entered as a driver will field cars for Taylor Gray, JP Bergeron, and Jake Garcia.
- Ty Gibbs won the March race at Phoenix, a combination race with the ARCA Menards Series. It was his second career West victory along with his win in November 2019.
- Greg Pursley holds the track qualifying record at Phoenix, set in 2013, at 26.875 seconds/133.949 miles per hour.
- Scott Lynch holds the track race record at Phoenix, set in 2003, at 114.262 miles per hour.