It was a perfect night for 17-year-old Taylor Gray and the No. 71 David Gilliland Racing team at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring. Gray took home his second ARCA Menards Series West win of the 2022 season in the Star Nursery 150 in dominant fashion. Gray started on the pole and lead every single lap on his path to victory.
After an impressive night in the race, Gray impressed more with one of the biggest burnouts that we’ve ever seen in ARCA competition. Gray was just proud to have had the best car in the race and to park it where it deserved to finish.
“Best car today. Couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Gray stated. “Showed up and showed out for sure. I just, all props to my guys that work so hard at the shop. They work their butts off in the shop every week so we can come out here and do things like this. I can’t thank Chad Johnston and all the guys at the shop enough.”
Gray’s DGR teammate Andres Perez de Lara took home a second-place finish on the night in his second career ARCA start and first start in the West Series. While every driver wants to win every race they enter, de Lara was very happy to end the night in the runner-up spot.
“Just so happy of getting this result,” de Lara said. “I’ve been working so hard for this. In my second start in ARCA and first in West, I’m really happy with second place. It was a really tough race. I was going to fifth, and then in the last part of the race I finally got to second place again and that’s where we started.
“Just so happy with the balance of the car. It was on rails the whole night. Really happy. Thank you to the team and really happy for this.”
Landen Lewis, who gave Gray fits all night long on restarts, was third. Kyle Keller and Buddy Shepherd round out the top five. This is Shepherd’s first career top five.
ARCA West points leader Jake Drew had a quiet night and came home eighth.
The mother-daughter duo of Sarah and Bridget Burgess had solid nights. Bridget, the daughter, came home 12th, while her mother Sarah was 17th.
The race featured two red flags. One early for the contact between Katie Hettinger and Chris Lowden and dumping fluid on the track, and the other for the 21 of RJ Smotherman having an engine expire. In total, 10 cautions came in the 150-lap event.
With just one race left to go in the season, the ARCA Menards West Series is heading to Phoenix on November 11th to wrap up the 2022 season and crown a champion.