Ty Gibbs, driver of the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates winning the Super Start Batteries 188 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Feb. 20, 2021. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Ty Gibbs, driver of the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates winning the Super Start Batteries 188 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Feb. 20, 2021. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Current, Former ARCA Menards Drivers Sweep Weekend’s NASCAR Races At Daytona


Last weekend was a successful one for graduates of the ARCA Menards Series platform, as three drivers with considerable ARCA Menards success on their resumes won all three NASCAR national touring series races on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course.

The tripleheader began Friday with Ben Rhodes winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Rhodes, the 2014 East Series champion, made it back-to-back wins at Daytona after winning the season-opener on the 2.5-mile superspeedway the previous Friday night. He withstood a charge by 2018 ARCA Menards Series champion Sheldon Creed to earn his fifth career Camping World Truck Series victory.

Rhodes earned the 2014 East Series championship with five wins and has a total of 18 top-10 finishes in 23 career starts.

On Saturday, Ty Gibbs became just the sixth driver in NASCAR Xfinity Series history to win in his first series start when he out-dueled noted road racer Austin Cindric for the victory. Gibbs took the lead from Jeb Burton with a spectacular pass in the grass on the final restart of the night and drove away from Cindric at the end to win by 1.7 seconds.

Gibbs, who is running the full ARCA Menards Series schedule in 2021, is also running a partial season in the Xfinity Series for his grandfather’s Joe Gibbs Racing team.

Gibbs already has eight career ARCA Menards Series series wins, two in 2019 and a series-leading six in 2020. He finished fourth in the season-opening Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire on Feb. 13.

On Sunday, Christopher Bell led the final five laps to earn his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory. The open-wheel dirt track ace made the transition to stock car racing starting with a limited run in the ARCA Menards Series with Venturini Motorsports in 2016, resulting in two wins at Salem Speedway and then another win at Chicagoland Speedway in 2017.

He held off another former ARCA Menards Series winner and East Series champion, Joey Logano, by 2.1 seconds for the win.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series and Cup Series return to action this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with the Xfinity Series race on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET on FS1. The Cup cars are back on track Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET live on FOX.

The ARCA Menards Series East returns to the track for its second race of 2021, the Pensacola 200 presented by Insectra Thermal Solutions, Saturday night at 6 p.m. ET. The race will stream live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and will broadcast on a delayed basis on NBCSN (Thursday, March 4, 4 p.m. ET).