It was Dean Thompson and High Point Racing that dominated Saturday Night’s NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Irwindale Speedway, but in the end 2020 ARCA Menards Series Champion Jesse Love stole the victory away in the closing laps of the event, after a late-race restart occurred.
The 150-lapper had its final restart with four laps to go, after a spin by Hiroyuki Ueno drew the race’s fourth and final caution flag. With Thompson in control, selected the preferred outside lane, Love held tough on the bottom in his Bill McAnally Racing Toyota Camry, allowing him the chance to pull the slide job in turn three to clear for the lead.
How about @jesselovejr1???
The defending West Series champ gets his first win of 2021 in dramatic fashion at @Irwindale_Spdwy 🏁
Watch this finish pic.twitter.com/E5QFHQxbj0
— ARCA Menards Series (@ARCA_Racing) July 4, 2021
Dean Thompson finished in the runner-up position, with Joey Iest, Jake Drew and Cole Moore rounding out the top-five. Trevor Huddleston, Todd Souza, John Borneman III, Nick Joanides and Bobby Hillis Jr. rounded out the top-10.
The event featured one major accident within the final 50 laps of the event, when Amber Balcaen collected the outside wall with her No. 19 ICON Direct Toyota Camry, spinning down the track into the path of Takuma Koga. Both drivers were able to emerge under their own power and walk away from the crash.
In her ARCA Menards Series West debut, Amber Slagle finished in 14th, after collecting the outside wall early in the event. Ahead of her series debut for Steve McGowen Racing, Slagle spoke to TobyChristie.com about her rise through the ranks of working at Cook Racing Technologies and how it lead to this opportunity.
ARCA Menards Series West Round 3 Results from Irwindale Speedway:
- No. 16 – Jesse Love
- No. 51 – Dean Thompson (-0.633 seconds)
- No. 54 – Joey Iest (-0.748 seconds)
- No. 9 – Jake Drew (-2.126 seconds)
- No. 99 – Cole Moore (-2.214 seconds)
- No. 6 – Trevor Huddleston (-2.383 seconds)
- No. 13 – Todd Souza (-3.380 seconds)
- No. 8 – Johnny Borneman (-3.550 seconds)
- No. 77 – Nick Joanides (-3 Laps)
- No 27 – Bobby Hillis (-7 Laps)
- No. 31 – Paul Pedroncelli (-12 Laps)
- No. 38 – Hiroyuki Uno (-12 Laps)
- No. 88 – Bridget Burgess (-21 Laps)
- No. 17 – Amber Slagle (-30 Laps)
- No. 19 – Amber Balcaen (-33 Laps)
- No. 7 – Takuma Koga (-33 Laps)
- No. 33 – Paul Pedroncelli (-54 Laps)
- No. 08 – Josh Fanopoulos (-69 Laps)
ARCA Menards Series West Point Standings After 3 of 9 Races:
Todd Souza and @DeanThompson51 appear to be tied at the top of the point standings after three of nine ARCA Menards Series West events this season.@cole_moore20 (-1), @jesselovejr1 (-2) and the Sunrise Ford Racing drivers round out the top-six.#ARCA | @ARCA_Racing pic.twitter.com/ESKtnxspyh
— Joseph Srigley (@joe_srigley) July 4, 2021