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Ty Gibbs
Ty Gibbs celebrates winning the Shore Lunch 150 for the ARCA Menards Series at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, on July 18, 2020. (Barry Cantrell/ARCA Racing)

PIT BOX: ARCA Menards Series’ Iowa Speedway tradition continues with Shore Lunch 150

Almost 15 years have passed since the ARCA Menards Series became the first racing series to compete at what was then a brand-new Iowa Speedway.

With the exception of 2014, the 0.875-mile paved oval in Newton, Iowa, known as “The Fastest Short Track on The Planet” has appeared on the ARCA Menards Series schedule every year since. That tradition continues in 2021.

Saturday night’s Shore Lunch 150 marks the first of three ARCA Menards Series / ARCA Menards Series East combination events of the season. The drivers who are entered will receive points for both series.

Tickets to Saturday night’s race at Iowa are available. And locals can visit any Menards store in Iowa to receive $5 off the price of an upper grandstand ticket.

The Shore Lunch 150 will broadcast live on MAVTV Motorsports Network starting at 8 p.m. CT / 9 p.m. ET with a live stream available on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass.


Shore Lunch 150 at Iowa Speedway

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

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Iowa Speedway strikes the perfect blend of fun and challenging for drivers who compete on its progressively banked oval. The track’s design promotes passing even though its configuration is unique.

That’s exactly how Rusty Wallace, the NASCAR Hall of Famer and 1989 Cup Series champion who helped design the track in the mid-2000s, envisioned racing on the circuit.

“It’s the only 7/8-mile race track in the country that I’m aware of,” said Wallace, who will attend Saturday night’s race and participate in an autograph session before he drives the pace car to lead the field to the green flag. “When we designed that track, we made it three different banking angles; I believe it’s 13, 14 and 15 degrees of banking angles. And those particular angles really created side-by-side racing.

“One thing I wanted to do also is, when we designed the track, really bank up the exits of the corners so the drivers when they try to pass can stay leaning on that banking and make the pass instead of coming off the banking and all of the sudden the track falls flat and the pass goes away.

“That’s one of the reasons almost all of the competitors who go there love racing there.”

Count Ty Gibbs among the ARCA Menards Series drivers who love racing at Iowa judging by his victory at the track last season. The 17-year-old who leads the series in laps led this year is back for the 2021 race at Iowa, where his grandfather and team owner Joe Gibbs will be in attendance to offer the pre-race invocation.

Gibbs, though, will be fighting history as he tries to repeat at Iowa.

The ARCA Menards Series has raced at Iowa 14 times dating back to 2006 and produced 14 different winners. Nobody has won multiple ARCA Menards Series races at the track let alone gone back-to-back.

Still, Gibbs will see his experience winning at Iowa as an asset as he tries to close the gap to or even surpass points leader Corey Heim in the championship standings. At the halfway point of the season, Heim has a five-point edge on Gibbs even though he has one fewer victory (four) than his rival’s five.

Corey Heim and Ty Gibbs
Corey Heim and Ty Gibbs race during the Menards 250 for the ARCA Menards Series at Elko Speedway in Elko New Market, Minnesota, on July 10, 2021. (David Berding/ARCA Racing)

There are many drivers to watch Saturday night at Iowa not named Heim or Gibbs; Daniel Dye proved as much last week when he dominated at Berlin Raceway for his first ARCA Menards Series win in just his second start.

Dye will race again at Iowa. As will Taylor Gray, Jesse Love and Nick Sanchez, the drivers who finished fourth through sixth, respectively, behind Gibbs (second) and Heim (third) last week.

They’ll be joined in the field at Iowa by NASCAR Camping World Truck Series part-timers Drew Dollar and Bret Holmes, the latter of whom is the defending ARCA Menards Series champion. Holmes finished third in last year’s Shore Lunch 150 at Iowa.

Because Saturday’s race is an AMS / East Series combination event (plus the fifth round of the 2021 Sioux Chief Showdown), East Series points leader Sammy Smith will join Gibbs as Joe Gibbs Racing entries in the field at Iowa.

Other East Series regulars like Mason Diaz, Joey Iest, Max Gutiérrez and Rajah Caruth are in the field, as well.

The complete entry list for Saturday’s Shore Lunch 150 at Iowa Speedway can be viewed here.

RACING REFERENCE:

RACE FACTS

RACE Shore Lunch 150
PLACE Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa
DATE Saturday, July 24, 2021
TIME 8 p.m. CT / 9 p.m. ET
TV/LIVE STREAM MAVTV / TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold
RADIO ARCARacing.com
TRACK LAYOUT 0.875-mile paved oval
LAPS 150
MILES 132
EVENT SCHEDULE Saturday, July 24: Practice at 4:15 p.m.; Qualifying at 6 p.m.; Race at 8 p.m. (All times CT)
TWITTER @ARCA_Racing, @NASCARRoots, @iowaspeedway, @MAVTV, @_TrackPass

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Shore Lunch 150 is limited to 24 plus provisional positions. This event will be run under the 2021 ARCA Menards Series rules, procedures, regulations and specifications.

QUALIFYING: Two consecutive laps qualifying. No adjustments or repairs may be made on car after taking the green flag at start/finish line. All cars must make a qualifying attempt, and all drivers must practice before they can qualify.

RACE PIT STOP: Break pit stop procedure. Breaks at or near the conclusion of Laps 50 and 100. All cars will be required to make at least one pit stop before the last 10 laps of the race. No adding or moving tires to or from pit box once race has started.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: 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).