2021 ARCA Menards Series East champion Sammy Smith’s triumph in the 50th iteration of the Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway – one of the biggest and longest late model races in the United States — didn’t exactly come without its fair share of drama, after the path to victory lane was made more difficult by some late-race contact and the penalty that followed.
Coming to the scheduled conclusion of the 400-lap event, Sammy Smith was hunting down Jack Smith for the race lead and the victory, when the pair made significant contact entering turn three. The 17-year-old was able to move through with the lead, while Jack Smith’s No. 26 was left destroyed and motionless.
Last Lap DRAMA!
Jack Smith and Sammy Smith make contact on the final lap to bring out the yellow 2 turns from the checkered flag! Tune in to MAVTV NOW to see the finish!#Winchester400 I @Lucas_Oil I @JEGSPerformance I @FastestHalfMile pic.twitter.com/RkFmConZIY
— MAVTV (@MAVTV) October 17, 2021
The officials weren’t exactly thrilled with the move that Sammy Smith made for the race win and elected to send him to the tail end of the lead lap, or what was fourth-place at that time, ahead of a green-white-checkered finish. However, Smith was able to make his way by Eddie VanMeter and Jake Garcia on the late-race restart, capturing the victory in the Winchester 400.
Stephen Nasse was able to record a second-place finish, with Eddie VanMeter, Jake Garcia, and Dusty Williams rounding out the top-five. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers Chandler Smith, Corey Heim, and Carson Hocevar recorded finishes of 8th, 13th, and 18th, respectively.
Carson Hocevar was running solidly in the early portion of the event, before getting caught up in a HUGE accident on Lap 80, which saw his No. 71 Chevrolet come to rest against the outside wall, before getting impacted by the already flipping JP Crabtree, who had climbed over the quarter-panel of another car. Luckily, all three drivers were able to exit the cars and walk away under their own power.