All three drivers' championships on the ARCA Menards platform in 2021 have realized the same truth: if the owners did not give them a chance to win the championship, their winning season would be impossible to achieve.
In 2021, the two even split the three-time owner's championship. Joe Gibbs racers Ty Gibbs and Sammy Smith drove ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East championship titles respectively, owned by Ty's father and Joe Gibbs' son Coy Gibbs.
In ARCA Menards Series West, Bill McAnally Racing’s owner, Bill McAnally, and driver Jesse Love won the owner’s championship together.
The following is the story of how these titles were formed.
More: 2021 ARCA Menards Series Championship Celebration
ARCA Menards series owner champion: Coy Gibbs (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)
For the second consecutive season, Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18 Toyota dominated the road in the ARCA Menards series, easily finishing at the top of the year-end owner standings. And this time, No. 18 owner Coy Gibbs was able to celebrate another championship at the same time, because his son Ty became the ARCA Menards series champion as the sole driver of the powerful JGR Toyota.
In 2020, Ty Gibbs was unable to participate in most of the scheduled super highway races due to his age, so he was forced to share the number 18 car with Riley Herbst. Although the duo gave Coy Gibbs the title of owner, JGR expects more in 2021.
Ty Gibbs did exactly this.
The 18th-ranked season broke the record because Gibbs led the ARCA Menards series in terms of victory, top five, leading laps, pole position, leading laps, and most importantly points. When Gibbs defeated the impressive Corey Heim to win the Drivers' Championship, Coy Gibbs defeated Heim's No. 20 owner Billy Venturini to win the Drivers' Championship.
The videotaped story shows that Ty Gibbs and the JGR team have put numbers on the scoreboard that have not appeared in the series for many years. Since Frank Kimmel's victory in the 2001-02 back-to-back season, no driver has won 10 races. Kimmel was also the last driver to win 19 top five places (2003). The most impressive is that Gibbs led the Hyundai record of 1,689 laps in 2021.
Gibbs may seem to be making history and setting new records every time in 2021, but last year Coy Gibbs and the No. 18 team performed better in a small part. This time, Ty Gibbs actually had to win the title of owner for his father in the season finale at Kansas Speedway.
Last year, the team only needed to pass technical inspections to promote the car.
ARCA Menards Series Eastern District Owner Champion: Coy Gibbs (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)
Joe Gibbs Racing is not satisfied with chasing the championship in only one series on the ARCA Menards platform. He also participated in the full-time competition of the ARCA Menards Series East in 2021, Johnston, Iowa, native Sammy Smith Driving Coy Gibbs-Owns Toyota No. 18.
However, since three of the eight games of the 2021 Eastern Series are also included in the ARCA Menards Series Championship points-and the fourth game is held on the same weekend as the NASCAR Xfinity Series-JGR faces a new prospect : Entries with two full-time ARCA Menards in the same game.
JGR has high expectations for Smith among Gibbs teammates, although the later outstanding models enter 2021 without experience in using larger and heavier ARCA Menards cars. Smith's ARCA Menards career certainly had an interesting start.
In the season opener of the Eastern Series at the New Smyrna Circuit in Florida, Smith led all the way from ninth, but was warned with 10 laps left in the race. As part of the warning, during the rain delay, series officials discovered that Smith and the No. 18 team had committed penalties on the pit lane earlier, otherwise they would be ignored and punished. When the game resumed, Smith was cancelled the order, but he was helped by another quick warning.
Smith used this opportunity to charge the new leader Tyler Gray at the last corner, and made important contacts with Gray, opening the door to the screen for Max Gutierrez, using a narrow, ground, and three-wide Shoot to steal the checkered flag.
A few weeks later, Smith scored his first victory at the Five Flags Circuit in Pensacola, Florida. Then, he overcame another major penalty (jumping at the beginning of the game) at the Nashville Fairgrounds circuit to get his second victory. These races went to General Tire 125 at the Dover International Circuit, where Ty Gibbs took over No. 18 and Smith slipped to the second Coy Gibbs-owned machine, No. 81 Toyota.
At that time of the season, Smith had been cooperating with crew chief Mark McFarlane, but McFarlane's main obligation was to Tay Gibbs. JGR brought in Jacob Canter, who under green flag conditions caused him to run two laps on the pit lane due to a flat tire, and impressively guided Smith to fourth in Dover name.
In the next Eastern Series, Smith returned to his winning style, using a long green flag lap in the Southern National Motorsport Park. Except for runner-up Joey East, the entire field was finished.
The first of the three ARCA Menards Series/Eastern Series combined events was held in the backyard of Smith at the Iowa Speedway, but this game did not succeed. Smith ran into a tire and hit a wall shortly after the early restart. Although he limped back to the pit lane, he dealt with the tire and suspension issues until he gave up after lap 97.
Smith was not intimidated by the setbacks of 18th. He finished fifth on the historic Milwaukee Mile and scored highlights at the Bristol Motor Speedway, when he trailed behind in second place. Ty Gibbs, who won the Eastern Series Drivers Championship for himself, won the owner's championship Gibbs for Coy.
The team's celebration, including the nose-to-nose burnout perfectly executed by Smith and Tay Gibbs, was an unforgettable moment. This is also a sign that Ty and Coy will receive the same honor in the ARCA Menards series finals in Kansas the following month.
ARCA Menards Series West Owner Champion: Bill McAnally (No. 16 Bill McAnally Racing Toyota)
Bill McAnally once again became the owner's champion of ARCA Menards Series West.
Although McCannally is listed as the owner of the defending series champion Jesselov, who seeks to repeat, the result is far from inevitable.
For the staff of Aihe No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, 2021 will be a difficult season, and it will eventually end in the championship. Yes, Love won two races, both at Irwindale Speedway in California, but he also finished 12th or worse in four of the nine races.
This is why the team led by captain Travis Sharpe had to rely on flexibility.
"This year is different," said the 16-year-old Love, who won the Western Series championship last year and became the youngest ever NASCAR champion at the age of 15. "More highs, but also more lows." Everyone did a good job and didn't give up. The only way to guarantee failure is to give up. Several times this season we ranked sixth in points; we have never been this low. But we never gave up. "
Love also pointed out the influence of McCannery on the title: "He did a good job and gave me the opportunity to be with a lot of good people."
This is what McNally has done in the Western Series over the years.
Love's 2021 championship marks Bill McAnally Racing's 11th Western Series championship and expands the organization's record. Bill McCannally himself now has eight owner championships. He won the first three races with Sean Woodside (1999) and Brendan Gowan (2000-01) as drivers. His next two games were won with Eric Holmes in 2008 and 2010. He won again in 2015 in Chris Eggleston and Todd Gilliland in 2016.
However, none of these titles appeared in the title run of love. That drama culminated in the season finale of the Western Series at Phoenix Speedway.
The Arizona Lotto Top 100 will definitely have a dramatic effect, because the seven drivers have the opportunity to leave as the Western Series champions, and the top five are only 6 points behind in the standings. Sure enough, in the last few laps, the top three drivers were only two championship points away.
When the checkered flag was waved, Love's season seemed to end at the lowest low point and the champion was one position behind on the track. Instead, a sneaky pass on the last lap led to the highest point.
As Jack Drew seemed to be winning at 11th place, 4 places ahead of Love, Drew’s Sunrise Ford Racing teammate Trevor Hudleston made a serious mistake. Running to 14th place, Huddleston raised at the beginning of his white flag circle, thinking that the game was over. Love easily surpassed Haddleston in the first turn of the final lap, and his 14th place put him and Drew at the top of the list.
Love won the championship with a tiebreaker-he won two Western Series games in 2021, and Drew was zero.
McAnally won his owner's championship with the same tiebreaker as Drew's No. 9 Ford owner Bob Bruncati.
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