Race report

With one Bristol win, Sammy Smith claims two ARCA titles

Sammy Smith got one ARCA win Thursday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway but came away with a pair of titles.

Sammy Smith, Joe Gibbs Racing, Pilot Flying J Toyota Supra

Smith, an 18-year-old development driver for Toyota, held off Xfinity Series regular Brandon Jones in a two-lap dash to complete a dominating victory in which he led the final 189 laps.

As Thursday night’s 200-lap race was an ARCA Menards/ARCA East combination event, the victory allowed Smith to win the ARCA East championship for the second consecutive year.

He also claimed the Sioux Chief Showdown championship, awarded to the driver who performs best in the 10 short track and road course events on the ARCA schedule.

“It was tough. I got to thank my guys for bringing a really fast car – I couldn’t do it without them,” Smith said of his Kyle Busch Motorsports team. “It was a tough restart there (with Jones) but I was able to pull it off.

“The (titles) mean a lot but it wouldn’t be the same if we had not won the race. Glad we were able to pull it off.”

Dash to the finish

A late caution bunched the field a final time but Smith was able to hold off a furious charge from Jones and cleared him by 0.234 seconds for the win.

“Sammy has consistently run up front since first competing in ARCA competition just one season ago,” said Paul Doleshal, Group Manager, Motorsports and Assets, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA).

“We are happy to help him celebrate these accomplishments and look forward watching him continue to grow as part of the Toyota Racing driver development program.”

Taylor Gray was third, Rajah Caruth fourth and Daniel Dye rounded out the top-five.

Thursday night was the season finale for ARCA East but two races remain in the ARCA Menards Series. Nick Sanchez holds a five-point advantage over Dye for that series title. Caruth is in third, 30 points behind the leader.

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