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Jesse Love Passes Ty Gibbs on Late-Race Restart, Notches 1st ARCA Menards Series Victory at Salem Speedway

PC: Jesse Love | Twitter

It’s been a season dominated by the battle between Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs and Venturini Motorsports’ Corey Heim for the 2021 ARCA Menards Series championship, but on Saturday Night at Salem Speedway, it was a different driver who took it to Gibbs in order to score their first career victory in ARCA’s national series.

NASCAR’s youngest-ever champion, 16-year-old Jesse Love was able to take the lead away from Gibbs on the restart after the final race break on lap 150, holding off the early-run counter-attack by the joe Gibbs Racing driver in the early portion of the run, eventually expanding his lead to 1.7 seconds. Saturday marked the seventh win of the season for Venturini Motorsports, but the first win for the No. 15 since June of 2020.

Gibbs was able to keep the second spot until the finish, claiming the 2021 Sioux Chief Showdown title by 22 points over Corey Heim, who recorded his worst finish of the season in seventh. The 18-year-old was also able to extend his championship points lead to a whopping 34 points over Heim, who could still find himself in title contention if 30 or more cars enter the finale at Kansas Speedway.

Rajah Caruth finished in third place, the best result of his ARCA Menards Series career and tying the best under the ARCA sanction. Will Kimmel and Gracie Trotter each picked up top-five finishes in the event, with Mason Mingus, Corey Heim, debutant JP Bergeron, Kody Swanson, and Ken Schrader rounding out the top-10.

In 11th-place, Taylor Gray tied his worst finish in the ARCA Menards Series, after a mechanical issue forced the Ripper Coffee No. 17 to fall three laps down in the middle portion of the event.

The race featured a single caution flag for an incident, when Ed Pompa and Zachary Tinkle made contact exiting turn two, sending the no. 27 Toyota Camry spinning. In the aftermath, Nick Sanchez was undecided on the direction to carry his REV Racing entry and made contact with the stationary vehicle.

The ARCA Menards Series will return to action for their championship finale on October 23, 2021 at Kansas Speedway for the Reese’s 150, where Ty Gibbs will look to collect both himself and Joe Gibbs Racing their first ARCA Menards Series championship.

2021 Sioux Chief Powerplex 200 Race Results – Salem Speedway:

  1. No. 15 – Jesse Love
  2. No. 18 – Ty Gibbs (-1.713 seconds)
  3. No. 6 – Rajah Caruth (-8.555 seconds)
  4. No. 69 – Will Kimmel (-11.363 seconds)
  5. No. 25 – Gracie Trotter (-15.906 seconds)
  6. No. 11 – Mason Mingus (-1 Lap)
  7. No. 20 – Corey Heim (-1 Lap)
  8. No. 46 – JP Bergeron (-2 Laps)
  9. No. 21 – Kody Swanson (-3 Laps)
  10. No. 12 – Ken Schrader (-3 Laps)
  11. No. 17 – Taylor Gray (-3 Laps)
  12. No. 01 – Willie Mullins (-5 Laps)
  13. No. 30 – Landen Lewis (-6 Laps)
  14. No. 10 – Ed Pompa (-8 Laps)
  15. No. 06 – AJ Moyer (-24 Laps)
  16. No. 48 – Brad Smith (OUT)
  17. No. 2 – Nick Sanchez (OUT)
  18. No. 27 – Zachary Tinkle (OUT)

2021 ARCA Menards Series Point Standings After 19 of 20 Races:

  1. Ty Gibbs
  2. Corey Heim (-24)
  3. Nick Sanchez (-305)
  4. Thad Moffitt (-331)
  5. Brad Smith (-430)
  6. DL Wilson (-559)
  7. Taylor Gray (-569)
  8. Drew Dollar (-593)
  9. Jesse Love (-606)
  10. Kyle Sieg (-638)
  11. Gracie Trotter (-718)
  12. Owen Smith (-724)
  13. Tim Richmond (-744)
  14. Jack Wood (-744)
  15. Daniel Dye (-765)
  16. Toni Breidinger (-767)
  17. Alex Clubb (-777)
  18. Greg Van Alst (-785)
  19. Zachary Tinkle (-786)
  20. Tony Cosentino (-788)

UNOFFICIAL 2021 ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief Showdown Final Point Standings:

  1. Ty Gibbs
  2. Corey Heim (-22)
  3. Nick Sanchez (-63)
  4. Thad Moffitt (-111)
  5. Taylor Gray (-113)
  6. Jesse Love (-148)
  7. Brad Smith (-163)
  8. Daniel Dye (-197)
  9. Gracie Trotter (-236)
  10. Tony Cosentino (-239)
  11. Alex Clubb (-266)
  12. Owen Smith (-273)
  13. Rajah Caruth (-278)
  14. Drew Dollar (-293)
  15. DL Wilson (-298)
  16. Zachary Tinkle (-309)
  17. Sammy Smith (-316)
  18. Kris Wright (-320)
  19. Mason Mingus (-321)
  20. Kyle Sieg (-324)
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