While the focus of Saturday’s Arizona Lottery 100 was rightfully on the series’ championship contenders Jesse Love and Blaine Perkins, Phoenix Raceway’s 27-car field, – the highest car count for a non-combine oval race in the ARCA Menards Series West since 2017 — provided some exciting action throughout the 100-mile event
David Gilliland – driving the No. 4 Ford Fusion for DGR-Crosley Racing — took the young drivers of the ARCA Menards Series West to school in the closing laps of the event, using a series of late-race restarts to rebound from a restart violation halfway through the event.
The 44-year-old survived a final corner bump attempt by Ty Gibbs, who Gilliland was able to slip by on the final lap of the event, to claim his first victory under the ARCA Menards Series sanction and his fifth win in the West Series.
Gilliland’s teammates at DGR-Crosley Racing, Taylor Gray and Todd Gilliland finished third and fourth respectively, with Venturini Motorsports’ Drew Dollar rounding out the top-five.
The event featured a total of seven cautions for 29 laps, including a multi-car accident on lap three of the event, involving championship contender Blaine Perkins, along with Gio Scelzi, Todd Souza and Kris Wright.
With a 14th-place finish in Saturday’s event, Jesse Love and Bill McAnally Racing were able to hold off a late-season charge by Sunrise Ford Racing’s Blaine Perkins, to claim the 2020 ARCA Menards Series West Championship.
Perkins – who entered Phoenix only 14 points behind the Bill McAnally Racing driver — finished Saturday’s event in 25th-place, after succumbing to engine issues two-thirds of the way through the event.
At 15 years, 9 months and 24 days old, the Menlo Park, California-native has become the youngest champion of the ARCA Menards Series West (was NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), as well as becoming the youngest champion in ARCA history.
The championship by Love and the No. 19 team marks the 10th ARCA Menards Series West Championship for Bill McAnally Racing and the fifth championship in the last six seasons for the organization.
UNOFFICIAL ARCA MENARDS SERIES WEST POINTS:
- No. 19 – Jesse Love – Bill McAnally Racing
- No. 9 – Blaine Perkins – Sunrise Ford Racing (-25)
- No. 99 – Gracie Trotter – Bill McAnally Racing (-31)
- No. 6 – Trevor Huddleston – Sunrise Ford Racing (-41)
- No. 16 – Gio Scelzi – Bill McAnally Racing (-53)