Saturday, April 1, 2023

Sammy Smith Dominates at Bristol, Captures 2022 ARCA East and Sioux Chief Showdown Championships

Sammy Smith won literally everything he could Thursday at Bristol Motor Speedway, taking the victory in the Bush’s Beans 200 while claiming the title in the ARCA Menards Series East and Sioux Chief Showdown. PC: Jonathan McCoy |

ARCA East Champion? Sammy Smith. Sioux Chief Showdown Champion? Sammy Smith. Bush’s Beans 200 winner? That’s right. Samuel “Sammy” Smith.

The 18-year-old won basically everything but the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers game Thursday night, solidifying his name once again as one of the hottest young talents in the sport.

Smith started the day strong and smooth by winning the pole, but a win wouldn’t come easy with a 31-car field at a track like Bristol, many entries of which were suffering from a major variation in speed.

The incidents came early at the expense of Amber Balcaen, which seems to, unfortunately, be a recurring thing in the ARCA Menards Series this season. Balcaen has been taken out in a handful of events this season and expressed her displeasure in an interview with FOX Sports afterward.


Just a handful of laps later, Smith and Brandon Jones – the top-two runners at the time – just about PLOWED into each other, in an attempt to avoid a crash in front of them.


The two de-facto teammates would get through the accident and continue to maneuver through traffic, dominating the event until a caution was displayed with eight laps to go in the 200-lap contest.

Ashton Higgins – in the midst of a top 10 run – spun and took a big hit to the inside wall, crushing the hearts of the driver and that race team who were looking at a career day.

On the restart, it was still the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota that would come out on top after trading some paint with Jones in the No. 81.

Jones, a multi-time winner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, ends his 2022 ARCA Menards Series tenure with three victories and no finishes worse than third-place, in his five starts. Now the young veteran will look to close out his Xfinity Series season with a title before heading over to JR Motorsports and Chevrolet in 2023.

Taylor Gray rebounded from a mid-race accident with Stephanie Moyer and Christian Rose to recover a third-place finish, while ARCA title contenders Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Parker Chase, Andrés Peréz de Lara, Andy Jankowiak, Connor Mosack, and Jesse Love rounded out the top ten finishers.

While the ARCA East season has wrapped up, the primary ARCA Menards Series is still in full force with two races remaining in the season. The points race is just as heated as it’s been all year long.

The series heads to Salem Speedway on October 1st, and then Toledo to round out the season on October 8th. All on FloRacing and MAVTV.

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

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