That wasn’t the case Saturday at Minnesota’s Elko Speedway as the driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports dominated the Menards 250 to earn his second ARCA Menards Series victory in as many weeks.
“This one feels way better, to win it like this. We kicked their butts today,” Smith said after his dominant run. “Thanks to the whole team.”
Smith swept the day at Elko Speedway. He opened the afternoon by topping practice and followed that up by earning the pole during qualifying.
Once the green flag waved, Smith was in his own league most of the evening.
He only briefly lost the lead once to Jesse Love during an early restart, but Smith quickly regained the lead on the 62nd lap and never lost it again.
“There was a lot of junk in the way all night,” Smith said. “We did a good job. Just part of it and got around them. We’ll keep digging.”
Love chased Smith for the rest of the race, but he was never able to seriously challenge him and was forced to settle for second.
“At the end of the night we just needed to be a little bit better,” said Love. “We’ll go back to the shop and keep on working and I’ll see what I could have done better too. Obviously something to build off of, but as a team we want to be up front and be dominant and be able to win this race next year.”
Landon Pembelton, making his ARCA Menards Series debut, finished a strong third for Venturini Motorsports in the No. 15 Toyota after racing within the top-five throughout the evening.
Taylor Gray finished fourth after spinning to bring out the first caution of the race and Daniel Dye completed the top-five.
Tom Hessert, Rajah Caruth, Greg Van Alst, Willie Mullins and Ron Vandermeir Jr. were sixth through 10th, respectively.
The ARCA Menards Series is back in action again Friday, July 8 as the tour visits the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, for its first road course event of the season.
ARCA Menards Series
Elko Speedway – Elko New Market, MN
Menards 250 – June 27, 2022
1. Sammy Smith
2. Jesse Love
3. Landon Pembelton
4. Taylor Gray
5. Daniel Dye
6. Tom Hessert
7. Rajah Caruth
8. Greg Van Alst
9. Willie Mullins
10. Ron Vandermeir Jr.
11. Nick Sanchez
12. Toni Breidinger
13. Colton Collins
14. Bryce Haugeberg
15. Alex Clubb
16. Brad Smith
17. Amber Balcaen
18. Zachary Tinkle
19. D.L. Wilson
20. Dallas Frueh