ARCA Menards Series at Elko Speedway – Menards 250 Notes


  • Sammy Smith scored his second consecutive ARCA Menards Series win in Saturday’s Menards 250 at Elko Speedway. Smith started from the General Tire Pole and dominated the race, leading 233 of the race’s 250 laps to take the victory. He is the eighth different driver to win in eight ARCA Menards Series races at Elko. 
  • Smith, the defending ARCA Menards Series East champion, defeated Jesse Love, the defending ARCA Menards Series West champion, by 4.119 seconds.  
  • Smith, from Johnson, Iowa, turned 18 years of age on June 4. He was not eligible to compete on tracks larger than one mile in length until then, meaning he missed races at Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Kansas Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Smith has made four starts in 2022, at Phoenix Raceway, Iowa Speedway, Berlin Raceway, and Elko Speedway and he has won half of them.  
  • Smith, driving the No. 18 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, has made eight starts across the ARCA Menards Series platform in 2022 with five wins: he has three East wins at New Smyrna Speedway, Five Flags Speedway, and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, plus two ARCA Menards Series wins at Berlin Raceway and Elko Speedway.  
  • Jesse Love finished on the podium for the second straight week, bettering his third-place finish at Berlin Raceway by one position with a runner-up finish at Elko Speedway. It marks Love’s ninth career top-ten finish in 18 starts.  
  • Landon Pembelton made his ARCA Menards Series debut driving for Venturini Motorsports.Pembelton, the winner of the Martinsville 300 Late Model Stock Car race in 2021, finished third,giving VMS two of the top three finishers. Tom Hessert III finished sixth in his second start of 2022 with the team and Toni Breidinger finished 12th. 
  • Taylor Gray finished fourth after recovering from an early spin in turn one. Gray was battling for position with Landon Pembelton when he lost grip and spun, dropping from the top five to the tail of the field. After restarting at the back of the pack, Gray raced into the top ten within a dozen laps and was back in the top five before the first of the race’s two race breaks. 
  • Gray’s entire David Gilliland Racing team was at Nashville Superspeedway on Friday night for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race servicing the truck for race winner Ryan Preece. Mark Rette, co-owner and crew chief on the No. 30 driven by Amber Balcaen, was also at Nashville assisting the effort for former ARCA Menards Series East winner Max Gutierez. Gutierez had a career day, battling well into the top ten before finishing a career-best eighth. 
  • Fifth-place finisher Daniel Dye scored his first top-five finish since he finished third at Kansas Speedway in May.  
  • ARCA Menards Series championship points leader Rajah Caruth finished seventh and his teammate Nick Sanchez finished eleventh, and uncharactaristically tough day for the Rev Racing duo.  
  • Rajah Caruth maintains the series points lead, adding four points to his advantage over Nick Sanchez who is now five points out of the lead. Daniel Dye is now within single digits of the lead, just nine points behind Caruth. 
  • Former ARCA/CRA Super Series late model champion Greg Van Alst cracked the top five in the standings for the first time this season with an eighth-place finish at Elko. It’s Van Alst’s third consecutive eighth-place finish and his fifth straight top-ten result. 
  • Sammy Smith has opened a 17-point lead in the Sioux Chief Showdown standings. Jesse Love and Taylor Gray have both jumped up two positions to second and third, respectively. Rajah Caruth dropped a spot to fourth, while Daniel Dye gained a spot to move into the top five. Nick Sanchez dropped from second to sixth. 
  • Smith, Caruth, and Dye are the only drivers to have scored four top-five finishes so far in 2022.  
  • Caruth, Dye, and Sanchez have each scored six top-ten finishes in eight starts this season. 
  • Caruth has completed all but four laps of competition so far in 2022, 1,098 out of a possible 1,102laps. He’s completed four more laps than Sanchez, who has completed 1,094.  
  • The twenty teams entered represented the largest entry for the ARCA Menards Series at Elko Speedway since 2019 and was three more than were entered in 2021. 
  • There were over 350 Menards and Menards vendor partner guests at the Menards 250, including Menards executive vice president – and former racecar driver – Charlie Menard, who gave the command to start engines.  


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