Breaking a drought dating back three-plus years, Riley Herbst won the VizCom 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 9 for No. 18 car owner Coy Gibbs in the most recent superspeedway event on the ARCA Menards Series calendar. Herbst led 39 of the 100 laps and pulled away from Bret Holmes late in the going to cement Gibbs’ lead atop the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge standings.
After a layoff of more than two months, the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge will conclude with the ARCA Menards Series 2020 season finale at Kansas Speedway. The Speediatrics 150 is the seventh and final superspeedway race of the season, as well as the second trip to the Kansas Speedway this year.
The battle for the superspeedway crown remains tight as just four points separate No. 18 car owner Coy Gibbs from No. 23 car owner Stacy Holmes¸ while Cathy Venturini’s No. 25 Toyota is a close third, trailing the lead by six points.
The first of the seven superspeedway races in 2020 was the traditional season kickoff event at Daytona, in which Michael Self scored his second Daytona win for Venturini. The series returned from the pandemic break with a reshuffled schedule that began with a race at Talladega, where Drew Dollar triumphed for the first time with a win for No. 15 car owner Bill Venturini.
All eyes were on the next superspeedway race at Pocono, as relaxed age restrictions at the "Tricky Triangle" meant that drivers under the age of 18 could get their first taste of superspeedway action. Sure enough, 17-year old Ty Gibbs stole the show with a dominating win for his father Coy’s No. 18 machine. Similar guidelines in place at Kentucky allowed Ty Gibbs to go back-to-back on the superspeedways following a duel with Holmes and Self.
The first Kansas date saw Holmes finally break through for his maiden ARCA win in July, propelling his father Stacy Holmes to the second spot in the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge standings. No movement occurred at the top of the order when Herbst delivered Coy Gibbs and the No. 18 team their third superspeedway win of the year at Michigan, and this is where the standings have sat frozen since then.
The Bret Holmes Racing team might enter the second Kansas race as the favorites based on the strength of Bret’s win earlier in the year at the 1.5-mile oval, but they will need some outside help to leapfrog the No. 18 bunch for the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge title.
Coy Gibbs will clinch the championship if his son Ty can finish fifth or better in the Speediatrics 150 — or if Gibbs finishes within four spots of Holmes on the track.
Should misfortune fall upon the No. 18 team like it did in the series’ most recent race at Springfield, Holmes will have to finish at least five positions ahead of Gibbs to swing the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge championship in favor of his father Stacy’s No. 23 team.
2020 General Tire Superspeedway Challenge Points — Top 15
|Car No.||Owner name||Daytona||Talladega||Pocono||Kentucky||Kansas 1||Michigan||Kansas 2||Total|
The General Tire Superspeedway Challenge is a special series within the greater ARCA Menards Series overall championship. The challenge is comprised of races on the ARCA Menards Series schedule at paved ovals greater than 1.5 miles in length. Race points only count towards a team’s yearlong tally, with bonus points not counted towards this total.
The General Tire Superspeedway Challenge is contested among car owners, rather than drivers, so that a team using multiple drivers has the same chances of winning as a team with a single full-time driver. Last year saw Chad Bryant’s No. 22 Chad Bryant Racing Ford take the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge crown via this method, with three different drivers making starts in the No. 22 car.