Friday’s General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 from Pocono Raceway may have been the first time that young Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota) started a race at the 2.5-mile triangular track, but you would have never known that after watching him win in dominating fashion. Gibbs cleaned up on the racetrack and in ARCA’s special awards categories thanks to his third career ARCA Menards Series victory and his first of the 2020 season.
As at Talladega, new special procedures dictated that the starting lineup at Pocono would be determined by owner points. Beginning with Pocono, the 2020 points will be used going forward to set the field instead of the 2019 points, but the outcome was the same either way: Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) was set to roll from the General Tire Pole position. Self started first at Talladega as well.
Unlike at Talladega, Self got off to a quick start and led some laps at Pocono. Self led the opening 8 laps and 11 total on the day, the second-most of any driver in the race, but he trailed the race’s Valvoline Lap Leader of Ty Gibbs with 65 laps led. The remaining 4 laps were led by Chandler Smith (No. 20 JBL Audio Toyota). Gibbs grew his yearly laps led total to 187, topping the Valvoline Lap Leader standings in which his closest competitor is Self with 72 laps led.
Related: Race Results
Gibbs held the lead for the vast majority of the race, earning his second Richmond Water Heaters Halfway Leader nod of the season. Gibbs was also the halfway leader at Phoenix in March, making him the first driver to have led at halfway twice in the 2020 season.
Gibbs was named the Bounty Rookie of the Race for winning the event in his Pocono debut. In the Bounty Rookie of the Year standings, Hailie Deegan (No. 4 Monster Energy Ford) saw her lead shrink to a mere one point over Drew Dollar (No. 15 Lynx Capital/Dollar Concrete Toyota). Deegan finished seventh for the third consecutive race, giving her 153 rookie points on the season, while Dollar finished sixth and now has 152 rookie points.
Mark McFarland was honored as the Cometic Crew Chief of the Race for calling the shots of Ty Gibbs’ race win. Kevin Reed, crew chief of Michael Self and the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports team, paces the yearly standings with 16 points while McFarland sits second with 22 points. Points are determined by adding together a car’s finishing position and starting position (when General Tire Pole Qualifying is conducted) as the crew chiefs aim to accumulate the least amount of points over the course of the season.
With only one start – resulting in a mechanical DNF – on the stat sheet for the 2020 ARCA Menards Series season, Sam Mayer (No. 21 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet) had to start 18th at Pocono, far deeper in the field than preferred. Mayer drove all the way up to third by the end of the race, gaining 15 positions and the K&N Filters Hard Charger award for his improvement.
In the prestigious General Tire Superspeedway Challenge in-season championship for car owners, No. 15 car owner Bill Venturini clings to a narrow one-point lead over the No. 25 team car, owned by Bill’s wife Cathy Venturini. Coy Gibbs, owner of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car, holds third with just one point separating the No. 18 from the No. 25 as well. The General Tire Superspeedway Challenge will take the week off as the series head to 0.686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway before resuming the following weekend at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway.
As Michael Self and Hailie Deegan both completed all 80 laps run at Pocono, the pair remain deadlocked in the S&S Volvo Laps Completed standings. Self and Deegan are the only two drivers that have completed all 386 laps of the 2020 ARCA Menards Series season.
The next race for the ARCA Menards Series will be the Calypso Lemonade 200 from the Indianapolis-area Lucas Oil Raceway. MAVTV will carry live television coverage beginning at 8:00 Eastern on Friday, July 3. The race marks the second round of the 10-race Sioux Chief Showdown and the first race in the series since March’s General Tire 150 from Phoenix Raceway.