Sunday, June 4, 2023

Sammy Smith Steals ARCA Victory at Berlin After Daniel Dye Has Late-Race Mechanical Issue

Sammy Smith drives to his first career ARCA Menards Series win after Daniel Dye runs out of fuel. Screengrab from MAVTV.

It seemed like Daniel Dye had the victory locked up at Berlin for the second year in a row until his No. 43 GMS Racing Chevrolet had something go wrong.

In one of the most heartbreaking ways to lose a race, Dye’s car began to slow down with just SEVEN laps left of the 200-lap event, and the win would be handed over to ARCA Menards Series East points leader Sammy Smith.

For Smith, this marks his first-ever ARCA Menards Series victory after coming so close last weekend at Iowa. And although it may have not been the prettiest, it still gets chalked up as a victory for the young Toyota Racing Development driver.

Dominating the event, Dye led just about every lap of Saturday’s event, as it looked like the Chad Bryant-led organization would go back-to-back at Berlin. As a result of the issue, the 18-year-old would drop all the way to seventh, again losing ground in the title fight.

36-year-old Tom Hessrt, returning to the series for the first time in multiple years, finished second place for Venturini Motorsports.

Hessert – who had not stepped into an ARCA car in over four years before Saturday – showed no signs of weakness as he was making moves left and right all race, including a bold three-wide move one-quarter way into the race.


The returning veteran made the highlight reel for the evening, putting up some nominees for the Reese’s Sweet Move of the Race’.

Jesse Love, a teammate to Tom Hessert III, finished in third place, rebounding from a strong effort derailed late in the going at Iowa to create some positive momentum.

Taylor Gray finished in fourth place with Rajah Caruth rounding out the top five, allowing the REV Racing driver to solely hold the championship lead in the ARCA Menards Series.

Nick Sanchez, Daniel Dye, Greg Van Alst, Toni Breidinger, and Brad Smith rounded out the top ten. Only nine cars were running at the conclusion of the event, with Smith finishing 63 laps down in tenth.

The ARCA Menards Series moves onto Elko Speedway on June 25, as the series marches on to the eighth race of the 2022 campaign.

RJ Starcevic
RJ Starcevic
Owner/founder of @NASCARReport on Instagram - Host of The Drivers Meeting Podcast - Contributor for

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