TOLEDO, Ohio (June 13, 2020) — Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer were the class of the field in Toledo as the ARCA Menards East Series returned to racing for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown. Gibbs, driving for his grandfather’s Joe Gibbs Racing, won this battle, the Herr’s Potato Chips 200 at Toledo Speedway.
“It feels really good,” said Gibbs in a socially distanced victory lane. “We had a fun time out there racing, and we learned a lot. I just can’t thank all these guys enough.”
“It’s really good to come back out here and get a win, especially after last year when I was second. It’s always good to move up a spot, which is always nice.”
Gibbs then put on a pair of sunglasses in an attempt at levity after having worn a pair to hide his tears of frustration in Phoenix after having lost in a race where he was a contender to win. An act in which he was mocked for back in March, but now is being shrugged off as comical.
Sam Mayer fought Gibbs mightily during the race, especially as the time for race’s two competition cautions drew near, but couldn’t quite find a way to get around Gibbs and make it stick.
Brett Holmes had an impressive run, even challenged for the runner up spot, but would settle for third on the day.
And now… The Race Rundown
Polesitter Sam Mayer led the race’s first eight circuits before being passed by Ty Gibbs, who took the top spot on lap nine.
The race’s first yellow flew on lap 31 for a stopped Mason Diaz on the front straightaway. Diaz was the fastest in the one and only practice session prior to the race, and had qualified in ninth. He was running in mid pack at the time of his issue.
Gibbs would stay in command during this segment of the race, with Mayer always close behind. Mayer turned up the heat on lap 60, and on lap 74 used the lapped car of Max McLaughlin to take Gibbs threewide and snag the lead going into the race’s second yellow, and first competition caution of the day.
The race restarted on lap 81, and by lap 84, Gibbs once again passed Mayer for the lead as McLaughlin spun with a flat left rear tire, bringing out the race’s third yellow flag.
On the next restart, Gibbs maintained the lead after an initial surge by Mayer. Mayer then had to contend with Giovanni Bromante challenging the second. After a brief battle, Mayer and Bromante settled into second and third respectively, and Mayer caught back up Gibbs and would hang close until the late stages of this segment of the race.
In those final stages prior to the second competition caution, Gibbs and Mayer fought side by side and through lapped traffic in an intense battle for the lead with Gibbs prevailing this time as the yellow flag flew on lap 152.
On lap 165, Chase Cabre went for a spin in turn three off of the bumper of Justin Carroll to bring out the fifth caution in the race.
With 25 to, Ryan Repko booted Gio Bromante in turn three during the battle for fourth, sending Bromante backwards into the wall, ending his day and bringing out the yellow for a sixth time on the day.
Repko brought out a red flag on lap 187 after a battle with Parker Retzlaff for fourth turned south as Repko drifted high coming off turn four, made contact with the frontstretch wall, cut a tire, and plowed into the wall in turn one.
The race resumed with eight laps to go, but with three laps remaining, one final incident would send this race into overtime.
Parker Retzlaff and Taylor Gray battled side by side for multiple laps before connecting late in turn one, sending both for a spin and ending the day for Gray, who after running in the top five all race long, could not get his car going again.
This set up a green-white-checkered situation, and on the restart, Ty Gibbs was able to make a speedy get away from Sam Mayer to claim the checkered flag.
- The Midfielder: Parker Retzlaff is a new name to the ARCA Series, but over the course of the COVID-19 shutdown, many grew to learn more about the driver of the 42 in the many broadcasts of the Speed 51 Super Select Series on iRacing, among other online events. Returning to real life racing at Toledo, Ratzlaff had a solid day, running in the mid pack for much of the race, but did show some strength late in a bid for the top five before a battle for fourth with Taylor Gray resulted in a spin with only three laps remaining. When everything settled out, Retzlaff would end up finishing in seventh, smack in the middle of the field.
Results from the ARCA East Herr’s 200 at Toledo Speedway
|1.||18 – Ty Gibbs|
|2.||21 – Sam Mayer|
|3.||23 – Brett Holmes|
|4.||4 – Chase Cabre|
|5.||6 – Nick Sanchez|
|6.||91 – Justin Carroll|
|7.||42 – Parker Retzlaff|
|8.||17 – Taylor Gray|
|9.||20 – Ryan Repko|
|10.||11 – Bob Pawlowski|
|11.||74 – Giovanni Bromante|
|12.||1 – Max McLaughlin|
|13.||11 – Mike Basham|
|14.||25 – Mason Diaz|
|15.||48 – Brad Smith|
– Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining
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