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Friday, December 2, 2022
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Chandler Smith Outduels Sammy Smith to Capture Third Straight ARCA Victory at IRP

Chandler Smith wins his third career ARCA Menards Series race at the Indianapolis Raceway Park. Screengrab from FS1.

It was a battle of the Smith’s at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Friday, but only one could come out as the winner of the Reese’s 200 and that was Chandler Smith.

Smith – a two-time ARCA Menards Series winner at IRP – continued his success at the 0.686-mile facility by dominating the second half of the event over Toyota teammate Sammy Smith.

The 200-lap event was filled with lots of slipping and sliding, as well as many intense battles on a short track where the outside lane was the preferred place to be.

On Lap 52, the first incident-caused caution flag of the event would fly after Toni Breidinger made big contact with Christian Rose exiting turn four, sending him sliding across the frontstretch.

Several laps later, after the conclusion of the first scheduled race break, Colton Collins missed a shift on the restart, which caused a major stack-up in the back of the pack, causing heavy damage to Amber Balcaen and Mandy Chick.

Chandler Smith – one of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Playoff contenders – was able to secure the lead on a restart on Lap 89, using the inside lane to make a pass on the race dominator, a pass that had taken him nearly the entire event to make.

However, the green flag wouldn’t be out for long, as once again Toni Breidinger and Christian Rose came together and crashed hard, ultimately drawing the red flag, as both cars had sustained major damage.

SOMEHOW, the Venturini Motorsports crew repaired the No. 25 and sent it back out onto the track to complete more laps.

The longest green flag stretch of the event would come at the race’s conclusion, as the race ran without interruption from the race’s final scheduled race break to the checkered flag, where Chandler Smith would take the win, after hitting the wall on the final lap.

Sammy Smith – the second-highest of the four Smith’s in Friday’s ARCA Menards Series event – goes another week without a victory, but held his own in an impressive showing against a contender in the NASCAR Truck Series.

Taylor Gray – who like Chandler Smith will compete in the NASCAR Truck Series event on Friday – finished in the final podium spot, ending his two-race win streak in the ARCA Menards Series.

Daniel Dye completed his late-race charge throughout the field to finish in fourth, the highest finisher of the three contenders competing for the championship in the ARCA Menards Series.

Connor Mosack ran an impressive race and came home in fifth place recovering from a restart violation around the halfway point of the event. After dueling with both Rev Racing entries, Jesse Love brought his No. 20 Toyota Camry home in sixth place.

Nick Sanchez and Rajah Caruth finished seventh and eighth place respectively, and Dylan “Mamba” Smith finished ninth place in his ARCA Menards Series debut, driving the No. 02 for Young’s Motorsports.

Greg Van Alst, Tom Hessert, Dylan Fetcho, Bryce Haugeberg, Colton Collins, and Zachary Tinkle rounded out the top 15 finishers.

After 11 of 20 ARCA Menards Series events, Rajah Caruth continues to lead the point standings by two markers over teammate Nick Sanchez, with GMS Racing’s Daniel Dye sitting third in points, five points behind.

 

Next for the ARCA Menards Series is a return to Michigan International Speedway, going from the short track to the high banks in Brooklyn, Michigan on August 6.

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

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