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Kansas Speedway
Cars in action during the Dutch Boy 150 for the ARCA Menards Series at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, on May 1, 2021. (Richard Corbett/ARCA Racing)

PIT BOX: Previewing ARCA Menards Series championship race at Kansas

Nine months after Corey Heim won the opener at Daytona International Speedway, the 2021 ARCA Menards Series season reaches its finale Saturday evening at Kansas Speedway for the Reese’s 150.

A champion will be named after the 100-lap race on the 1.5-mile paved oval in Kansas City, Kansas. Or, in a more likely scenario, he will be named well before the checkered flag.

Points leader Ty Gibbs’ championship scenarios depended upon the car count for Saturday night’s race. With 25 cars entered in the Reese’s 150, Gibbs, who enters with a 34-point edge over second-place Heim in the standings, simply needs to take the green flag to clinch the title.

Heim, of course, is the defending winner of the ARCA Menards Series’ fall race at Kansas, as he secured his first series victory last season at the venue. Even if he can’t steal the championship — Heim would have a chance should Gibbs fail to start the race — Heim has plenty in front of him Saturday, including a potential Bounty Rookie Challenge title.

Tickets to Saturday night’s Reese’s 150 are available. The race will be shown live on MAVTV Motorsports Network with a live stream available on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass starting at 6 p.m. CT / 7 p.m. ET.


Reese’s 150 at Kansas Speedway

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Kk150

Gibbs has the ARCA Menards Series championship all but clinched entering Saturday night’s finale at Kansas. Which is fitting considering he also has the season-long Valvoline Lap Leader award locked up with his absurd 1,590 laps led through 19 races.

In comparison, Heim sits second in the season-long Valvoline Lap Leader standings with 405 laps led.

Gibbs also won this year’s Sioux Chief Showdown championship and the CGS Imaging Four Crown over Heim, by 22 points and by 15 points, respectively. At Kansas, Heim can at least take the rookie award from his rival.

Gibbs enters the finale with a one-point lead in the Bounty Rookie Challenge (rookie of the year) standings over Heim. Race points (no bonus points) are all that count toward the rookie standings.

That means Heim needs to finish two or more positions better than Gibbs at Kansas to steal the rookie title. Gibbs would hold a tiebreaker by virtue of his 10 victories this season to Heim’s six.

Regardless, Heim will end an impressive season with something to show for it. He has already clinched the S&S Volvo Laps Completed award for the year with 2,520 points. Billy Venturini, the owner of Heim’s No. 20 Venturini Motorsports Toyota, is a comfortable 22 points ahead of his father Bill (owner of the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota) in General Tire Superspeedway challenge points.

Of course, Heim also could win at Kansas and end the year on a high note. He finished third when the series visited the track in May, but he won in convincing fashion at Kansas last October, leading 82 of 100 laps.

Unlike Gibbs in his Joe Gibbs Racing stable, Heim also will benefit from teammates on track with him at Kansas. Drew Dollar (No. 15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota), Parker Chase (No 25 NXTLVL Marine Toyota) and Toni Breidinger (No. 55 FP Movement Toyota) are entered at Kansas in VMS cars.

The complete entry list for Saturday evening’s Reese’s 150 can be viewed here.

RACING REFERENCE:

Kansas Speedway
Kansas Speedway (Barry Cantrell/ARCA Racing)

RACE FACTS

RACE Reese’s 150
PLACE Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas
DATE Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021
TIME 6 p.m. CT / 7 p.m. ET
TV/LIVE STREAM MAVTV / TrackPass
RADIO ARCARacing.com
TRACK LAYOUT 1.5-mile paved oval
LAPS 100
MILES 150
EVENT SCHEDULE Saturday, Oct. 23: Practice at 11 a.m.; Qualifying at 12:45 p.m.; Race at 6 p.m. (All times CT)
TWITTER @ARCA_Racing, @NASCARRoots, @kansasspeedway, @MAVTV, @_TrackPass

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Reese’s 150 is limited to 30 plus provisional positions. This event will be run under the 2021 ARCA Menards Series rules, procedures, regulations and specifications.

QUALIFYING: By timed session. All cars must make a qualifying attempt, and all drivers must practice before they can qualify.

RACE PIT STOP: Modified live pit stop procedure. There will be a competition caution at or near Lap 50. All cars will be required to make at least one pit stop prior to the last 10 laps of the race. No adding or moving tires to or from pit box once the race has started.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Per ARCA Rulebook, the maximum number of tires allowed in pit box for use in race is eight (8).