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ARCA Menards Series West at Phoenix Raceway
Teams prepare their cars ahead of the General Tire 150 for the ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series West at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, on March 12, 2021. (Adam Glanzman/ARCA Racing)

PIT BOX: Seven West Series championship contenders part of stacked field for finale at Phoenix

For seven drivers, it all comes down to this.

Through eight ARCA Menards Series West races in 2021, the season finale at Phoenix Raceway arrives with the top five drivers in the standings separated by just six points, easily the closest top-five championship battle in series history. And with 36 cars entered in the Arizona Lottery 100, seven drivers are within range of a title.

In a stacked field, all eyes will be on Jesse Love, P.J. Pedroncelli, Jake Drew, Joey Iest, Cole Moore, Trevor Huddleston and Todd Souza.

One will leave Phoenix as the 2021 West Series champion.

Tickets to Saturday’s Arizona Lottery 100 at Phoenix are available. The race will be shown live on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass starting at noon MT / 3 p.m. ET.


Arizona Lottery 100 at Phoenix Raceway

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Az Lottery 100 C

Saturday’s Arizona Lottery 100 is all about the championship contenders even though the entry list is stuffed with some of the best talent currently competing on the ARCA Menards platform.

Freshly crowned ARCA Menards Series champion Ty Gibbs will race at Phoenix in attempt to defend his win at the one-mile paved tri-oval in March, when he took the checkered flag in an ARCA Menards Series/West Series combination event. Gibbs also won the 2021 Sioux Chief Showdown title.

Another newly crowned ARCA Menards champion, Sammy Smith, is also entered at Phoenix in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Smith won the East Series title in his rookie season.

Rev Racing’s Nick Sanchez and Rajah Caruth, both of whom have announced plans to run part-time NASCAR Xfinity Series schedules in 2022 on top of full-time ARCA Menards Series slates, will compete in Saturday’s race. Sanchez is coming off his first career win a couple weeks ago in the ARCA Menards Series season finale at Kansas Speedway.

ARCA Menards powerhouse team Venturini Motorsports will field four cars at Phoenix driven by Drew Dollar, Gracie Trotter, Parker Chase and Toni Breidinger. Daniel Dye, another ARCA Menards Series race winner in 2021, will run for GMS Racing at Phoenix fresh of his announcing a full-time ARCA Menards Series schedule in 2022.

Taylor Gray, the winner of two West Series races this season, will join Jake Garcia and J.P. Bergeron as entries for David Gilliland Racing, the team that won the West finale at Phoenix last season with David Gilliland himself behind the wheel.

Those names are just a few of those that make up the stiff competition for the West Series title contenders.

ARCA Menards Series West
Cars in action during the NAPA Auto Parts 150 for the ARCA Menards Series West at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California, on Aug. 21, 2021. (Meg Oliphant/ARCA Racing)

Love, the 16-year-old defending West Series champion who last season at 15 became the youngest NASCAR title winner in history, enters the finale with the lead in points. The Bill McAnally Racing driver’s advantage, though, is just one point over Pedroncelli, who with a win and four top-five finishes in 2021 as a private team owner/driver is one of the best stories of the West Series season.

Just two points behind Pedroncelli in the standings is Drew, a rookie driving for Bob Bruncati’s Sunrise Ford Racing operation. Iest is two points behind Drew, and Moore, Love’s BMR teammate, is just one point back of Iest.

Behind that top-five jumble is Huddleston (15 points back from the lead) and Souza (26 points back from the lead) in sixth and seventh, respectively.

RELATED: Points scenarios for title contenders

The championship scenarios for these seven drivers are seemingly endless. Love and Pedroncelli are the only two drivers who can clinch the championship regardless of where others finish simply by winning at Phoenix. Neither would need the aid of bonus points. Love, Pedroncelli, Drew and Iest are the four drivers who would clinch the title regardless of where others finish if they were to score max points (win plus all three bonus points) at Phoenix.

Every other championship scenario involving every title contender is dependent upon where others finish.

The complete entry list for Saturday’s Arizona Lottery 100 at Phoenix can be found here.

RACING REFERENCE:

RACE FACTS

RACE Arizona Lottery 100
PLACE Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona
DATE Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021
TIME Noon MT / 3 p.m. ET
TV/LIVE STREAM TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold
RADIO MRN / SiriusXM (XM channel 391, online channel 981)
TRACK LAYOUT One-mile paved tri-oval
LAPS 100
MILES 100
EVENT SCHEDULE Saturday, Nov. 6: Track opens at 5:30 a.m.; Practice/qualifying at 9 a.m.; Race at noon (All times MT)
TWITTER @ARCA_Racing, @NASCARRoots, @phoenixraceway, @_TrackPass

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Arizona Lottery 100 is limited to 32 plus provisional positions. This event will be run under the 2021 ARCA Menards Series West 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. Break at or near the conclusion of Lap 50. 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 for the event is 10. Per ARCA Rulebook, maximum number of tires allowed in pit box for use in race is eight (8).