The ARCA Menards Series East drivers who competed in last week’s race at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway have an unusually short amount of time to prepare for the next event on the schedule.
When Friday’s General Tire 125 at Dover International Speedway arrives, those competitors will have had just six days post-Nashville to prepare for the fourth race of the 2021 East Series season.
And as if the Monster Mile in Dover, Delaware, was not tough enough as a one-of-a-kind race track, those East regulars will face a unique challenge Friday in terms of competition, as well.
- ENTRY LIST: General Tire 125
The General Tire 125 at Dover for the ARCA Menards Series East is not a combination event with the ARCA Menards Series, but several regulars from the latter series are entered.
That includes the drivers who are second and third in current ARCA Menards Series points.
Fans are able to attend Friday evening’s event at Dover (tickets), and the race can be viewed live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
General Tire 125
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Given the way Sammy Smith has performed in the ARCA Menards Series East through three races in 2021, coming off consecutive victories, one would think the championship points leader would be the favorite to win again at Dover.
That likely would be the case if not for the challenge to come from his own Joe Gibbs Racing garage.
Ty Gibbs, the current ARCA Menards Series regular who has two wins and 11 top-five finishes in 12 East Series races dating back to 2019, will run the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at Dover. Smith will be in the No. 18E Engine Ice Toyota.
Gibbs sits third in ARCA Menards Series points with a pair of wins through four races. Friday’s event at Dover marks his first run in an East race since he finished third in last season’s finale at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
The East Series race at Dover last season marked Gibbs’ worst finish of the year; he crashed on Lap 109 after leading a race-high 104 laps and finished 12th. It’s the only time Gibbs has failed to finish in the top five in an East Series race.
The pair of No. 18 cars obviously will be strong at Dover, but so will a handful of other entries beyond the East regulars.
Because Taylor Gray is still recovering from injuries sustained in a street car accident, his car owner, David Gilliland, will race the team’s No. 17 DGR Ford at Dover.
Gilliland, the 45-year-old veteran driver and car owner, has just two East Series starts on his resume compared to 50 West Series starts. But the last time he raced an ARCA Menards car, when he drove his own No. 4 Lincoln Electric / Simpson Ford in the West finale at Phoenix Raceway last season, he ended up in Victory Lane.
On the subject of West Series drivers, defending series champion Jesse Love will make his debut with Venturini Motorsports at Dover driving the team’s No. 25 JBL Toyota.
VMS also will field Drew Dollar in the No. 15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota at Dover. Dollar has two top-five finishes in his pair of Dover starts in the East Series. He is currently second in ARCA Menards Series points.
Kyle Sieg, who is fourth in ARCA Menards Series points, will race at Dover in the No. 28 RSS Racing Chevrolet. He finished 11th at the track in his East Series debut last season.
Josh Berry, who won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race last month at Martinsville Speedway running for JR Motorsports, will start his first East Series race since 2019 when he competes at Dover in the No. 41 Solid Rock Carriers Chevrolet for Cook-Finley Racing.
The complete entry list for Friday’s General Tire 125 at Dover can be found here.
|RACE||General Tire 125|
|PLACE||Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware|
|DATE||Friday, May 14, 2021|
|TIME||5 p.m. ET|
|TV/LIVE STREAM||TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold|
|RADIO||MRN / SiriusXM (XM channel 391, online channel 981)|
|TRACK LAYOUT||One-mile concrete oval|
|EVENT SCHEDULE||Friday, May 14: Garage opens at 9 a.m.; Practice/qualifying at 1:45 p.m.; Race at 5 p.m. (All times ET)|
|@ARCA_Racing, @NASCARRoots, @MonsterMile, @_TrackPass, @MRNRadio|
CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The field for the General Tire 125 at Dover International Speedway is limited to 26 starters plus provisional positions. This event will be run under the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East rules, procedures, regulations and specifications.
QUALIFYING: Starting position will be set by each car’s fastest recorded lap in the practice / qualifying session.
RACE PIT STOP: Break pitting procedure. Breaks at or near the conclusion of Laps 35 and 80. No adding or moving tires to or from pit box after race has started. All cars will be required to make at least one pit stop prior to last 10 laps of race.
The maximum tire use at track (total “from home” plus purchased at track) for the event is 16. Per ARCA Rulebook, maximum number of tires allowed in pit box for use in race is eight (8).