Taylor Gray – driver of the No. 17 Ford Performance Racing School Ford MUSTANG for David Gilliland Racing (DGR) — dominated Friday’s General Tire 125 at Dover, collecting his first victory in the ARCA Menards Series East.
Emphasis on the “Mustang”, as Friday’s 125-lap event, marked the first race in ARCA Menards Series history that a team entered the Mustang body, formerly seen in the NASCAR Cup Series. So why not get the W?
The victory came by just over a second and a half over Venturini Motorsports’ Jesse Love, who was the only competitor to challenge Gray throughout the duration of the event.
Gray’s day started strong, sitting on the pole for the General Tire 125 after leading a combined practice-qualifying session over championship rival Sammy Smith. The 17-year-old dominated the event, leading a race-high 115 laps. Jesse Love, who finished second, was the only other driver to lead.
The race was rather uneventful when it came to on-track incidents but did see a close call between two up-and-coming racers, Rajah Caruth and Leland Honeyman
— ARCA Menards Series (@ARCA_Racing) April 29, 2022
Rajah Caruth – who qualified 15th for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race — ran a solid race in a one-off East Series event for Rev Racing, bringing it home in fourth place. The 19-year-old holds the lead in the ARCA Menards Series standings.
Just in front of Caruth, Conner Jones showed immense late-race strength in his No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota, finishing third. Jones is scheduled to compete in two more races for VMS at Iowa and Salem.
Sammy Smith, who prior to Friday had gone undefeated in the ARCA Menards Series East in 2022, rounded out the top-five with his Kyle Busch Motorsports team, while managing to maintain a two-point advantage over Gray for the series points lead.
Jake Finch, Jonathan Shafer, Leland Honeyman, Daniel Escoto, and Christian Rose close out the top-10.
The ARCA Menards Series East will head to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 7 for the fourth of seven points-paying events on the 2022 schedule.
The championship battle has tightened between Gray and Smith, with Leland Honeyman, Christian Rose, and Stephanie Moyer rounding out the top-five in points.