By: Ashley McCubbin
There is an old adage to always make sure you race until the absolute last moment, the time you take the checkered flag because you never know what can happen. It’s something Sunrise Ford Racing will not be forgetting anytime soon.
Jake Drew had the ARCA Menards West championship in hand, and truly believed it was set to come together based on his performance. However, his teammate Trevor Huddleston slowing on the last lap would allow Jesse Love to streak on by, securing the title in a tie breaker.
The No. 6 was just ahead of the leader, so you have to believe Huddleston saw the checkered flag that was coming out for Ty Gibbs. However, both he and Love cleared on the lead lap ahead of the No. 18, therefore allowing the opportunity to form.
Speaking of Gibbs, he pretty much did what we’ve become used to in the ARCA competition with a dominating performance. Taylor Gray kept him honest on a late-race restart, but all day long, the No. 18 streaked away from the field with ease. After scoring 16 wins this year, it seems the sky may be the limit for what’s to come in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2022 and beyond.
Gibbs’ performance was just one example of why many people scratch their head at this time of season. For the second year in a row, the West Series regulars were out-run by premiere and East Series competitors, with Cole Moore the highest in the 10th position. It makes it hard to value the worth of a title at this level in knowing they are out-run by everyone else.
That said, you cannot knock the size of field that was on-track as it proves there may be some health for ARCA moving forward. However, would this event be better as a premiere series event? It’d reflect better on the show that we witnessed.