SPARTA, Kentucky (July 11, 2020) — Ty Gibbs picked up career win number four, and his third in 2020 by winning the General Tire 150 at Kentucky Speedway in the ARCA Menards Series first trip to Sparta since 2017.
Gibbs was the dominant force, and overcame a close call with polesitter Michael Self while battling for the lead that almost sent both drivers spinning and crashing.
Gibbs overcame the incident, taking the lead from Brett Holmes with 17 laps to go and went on to win by 1.2 seconds.
“My life goal is to always try to just keep going and never give up,” Gibbs said in victory lane. “There is a time right there I could’ve gave up and I didn’t. I kept pushing forward and my team did and we came home as winners. It was a fun time. I can’t thank my team enough…. I just can’t thank everybody enough. It feels good to win my first mile and half race and first superspeedway race.”
The contact with Self came with 36 laps to go in the event, as the pair battled side by side for lead. With the addition of the traction compound, PJ1 to the racing surface, driver’s throughout the weekend have had to deal with twitchy, jerky cars when racing alongside another car in the corners. The incident sent both drivers to the back of the top ten, and provided a very anxious moment for the field and others worked their way by.
Gibbs was asked about the contact, but didn’t hold any animosity toward Self, chalking it up to just plain ole hard racing.
“I’m not really mad at him,” said Gibbs. “This track is so line sensitive. When we went down there we were both racing our guts out. He drove it in hard and kind of just clipped me in the right rear. Fair game, and luckily I didn’t get into the fence there. Stuff like that happens. It’s just racing. What happens to me will happen to you, it’s just one of those deals that just sucks.”
And now… The Race Rundown:
Michael Self led the field to green, easily leading the first lap as the field went single file. Self would go on to an over 2 second lead early on.
The first yellow of the day flew around lap 17 for Scott Melton, who smacked the wall coming off of turn two. He would pit with a severe tire rub. There were three cars battling, and two of them – Jason Kitzmiller and Ryan Huff – made contact.
But it’s Melton that had the biggest issue of the three.
On the lap 23 restart, Ty Gibbs was able to hold tight to Self’s bumper, and on the next lap, make the pass for the lead on the frontstretch. On lap 25, Brett Holmes took the second spot from Self, and two laps later, Hailie Deegan moved into fourth place, around Ryan Repko.
This is how they would run to the first of two competition cautions, the first flying on lap 30.
Gibbs held off a charge from Holmes on the restart, then went on to lead through to the race’s second competition caution on lap 61. During this segment, Sam Mayer, who was fastest in practice, entered the fray after climbing up 11 spots from the start, moving into the fourth spot.
The action really picked up on the next restart as Gibbs and Self raced side by side into turn three. The pair made contact, both shook loose and were shuffled back into the pack, in fifth and ninth respectively. This gave the lead to Sam Mayer, and with 35 laps to go, Holmes passed Mayer for the lead.
The fourth caution flew shortly after Homles took the lead as Thadd Moffitt broke loose going into turn one and backed his car into the wall with 31 laps to go.
On the restart, Mayer was popped for jumping the restart on leader Holmes, and would be forced to serve a drive-thru penalty. On the backstretch, Hailie Deegan was turned into the wall by Drew Dollar, bringing out the race’s fifth caution.
The race resumed with 18 laps to go. Gibbs and Holmes raced side by side with Gibbs nipping the lead at the line. As the duo dove into turn one, Gibbs drifting up, making slight contact with Homles. It was enough to break Holmes momentum, allowing Gibbs to take the lead… this time for good… with 17 laps remaining.
Gibbs went to win by 1.2 seconds over Holmes
Unofficial Results for the General Tire 150 at Kentucky:
|1.||18 – Ty Gibbs|
|2.||23 – Brett Holmes|
|3.||25 – Michael Self|
|4.||21 – Sam Mayer|
|5.||15 – Drew Dollar|
|6.||20 – Ryan Repko|
|7.||22 – Derek Griffith|
|8.||10 – Ryan Huff|
|9.||17 – Tanner Gray|
|10.||97 – Jason Kizmiller|
|11.||11 – Willie Mullins|
|12.||48 – Brad Smith|
|13.||12 – Dick Doheny|
|14.||4 – Hailie Deegan|
|15.||46 – Thadd Moffitt|
|16.||06 – Don Thompson|
|17.||69 – Scott Melton|
– Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining
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