ARCA Menards Series News and Notes – Music City 200 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway 

Nashville Fairgrounds

  • Taylor Gray became the 124th winner in ARCA Menards Series East history with his victory in the General Tire 125 at Dover Motor Speedway. Gray also earned the General Tire Pole Award in qualifying earlier in the day, his career first, and became the 133rd driver since 1987 to win an East Series pole. 
  • Gray’s win combined with a fifth-place finish by defending East champion and defending Nashville winner Sammy Smith allowed Gray to cut ten points off Smith’s lead in the series standings. Gray is now just two points out of the lead with four races remaining on the schedule. 
  • Gray’s win is also the first for the new 2022 Ford Mustang body style on the ARCA Menards Series platform. The Ford Fusion has been the only approved Ford body style since the move to composite bodies in 2015. The Mustang’s victory in its debut race is not the first time a Ford Mustang has won within the ARCA Menards Series platform; three-time series champion Ron Hutcherson won several short track races in a Mustang during the “pony car” era of the ARCA Menards Series in the mid 1970s. 
  • Six drivers scored their best career East Series finishes at Dover: winner Taylor Gray, runner-up and two-time West Series champion Jesse Love, third-place finisher Conner Jones, sixth-place Jake Finch, seventh-place Jonathan Shafer, and 13th-place Tommy Vigh, Jr. 
  • The ARCA Menards Series East has raced at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway three previous times. Rogelio Lopez won the series’ first race at the 5/8ths-mile banked oval in 2007, and Matt Kobyluck won in 2008. The series returned for the first time in 13 years in 2021 with Sammy Smith scoring the win. 
  • Mason Mingus set the track record in qualifying for last year’s Music City 200, timing in at 19.504 seconds, which is an average of 110.008 miles per hour. Mingus, from nearby Brentwood, Tennessee, returns to the series driving team owner Jeff McClure’s No. 44 Ford. 
  • Sammy Smith’s dominant victory last year – in which he came from a lap down under green to retake the lead – also resulted in a track record 91.438 miles per hour average speed. 
  • Sammy Smith and Taylor Gray are the only two drivers to have scored top-five finishes in all three East Series races so far this season.  
  • Smith, Gray, and Leland Honeyman are the only drivers to have scored top-ten finishes in all three East Series races so far this season. 
  • Smith enters the Music City 200 as the series points leader for the second consecutive season. Smith has made eleven career series starts and has ten top-five finishes. His only finish outside the top five was an 18th-place finish at Iowa Speedway last July. 
  • Gray enters the Music City 200 second in points, just two points out of the lead. Gray has 13 career East Series starts and has 10 top-five finishes and has never finished outside the top ten. 
  • Christian Rose jumped into the top five in series standings with his second top-ten finish of the season in the General Tire 125 at Dover Motor Speedway. The former Division I college baseball star will be inducted into the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Walk of Fame for his prowess on the diamond on May 3. Rose drives for Bruce Cook, whose car was driven to victory by Landen Lewis in the most recent ARCA Menards West race at Kern County Raceway Park. 


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