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Ty Gibbs, driver of the No. 18 Monster Energy-Terrible Herbst-ORCA Toyota, celebrates after winning the Arizona Lottery 100 for the ARCA Menards Series West at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, on November 6, 2021. (Caitlin O'Hara/ARCA Racing)
Ty Gibbs, driver of the No. 18 Monster Energy-Terrible Herbst-ORCA Toyota, celebrates winning the Arizona Lottery 100 at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 6, 2021. (Caitlin O'Hara/ARCA Racing)

Ty Gibbs, Jesse Love, Cole Moore collect special awards from West Series season finale at Phoenix

With the ARCA Menards Series championship already in hand, Ty Gibbs had one final hurrah in store for the 2021 season, and he did not disappoint. The 19-year-old dominated the Arizona Lottery 100, the ARCA Menards Series West’s season finale.

Leading every lap of the race, Gibbs bested the other 33 drivers in the field to take the trophy along with most of ARCA’s special awards from Phoenix Raceway.

RELATED: What we learned at Phoenix Raceway

Ty Gibbs
Ty Gibbs, driver of the No. 18 Monster Energy-Terrible Herbst-ORCA Toyota, celebrates winning the General Tire Pole Award ahead of the Arizona Lottery 100 for the ARCA Menards Series West at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, on Nov. 6, 2021. (Caitlin O’Hara/ARCA Racing)

General Tire Pole Qualifying produced a Joe Gibbs Racing lockout of the front row with Gibbs claiming the pole with a lap of 26.654 seconds/135.064 mph and Sammy Smith landing on his outside. This gave Gibbs the season sweep for qualifying at Phoenix; he also took the pole in the spring ARCA Menards Series/West Series combination event at the one-mile paved oval, as well.

Jake Drew secured the season-long lead for the most General Tire Pole Awards in the West Series with three. Drew could only muster a 17th-place qualifying effort at Phoenix, his worst starting position all year and one of only two races in which he started outside the top 10 — the other being the spring event at Phoenix, where he rolled from 15th.

Drew sat on the pole at the two road course races at Sonoma and Portland while adding a single oval pole at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring in September. Gibbs and Dean Thompson each posted two West Series poles in 2021, while Todd Souza and P.J. Pedroncelli each started from the top spot once.

Gibbs entered the Arizona Lottery 100 with the possibility of pulling off a unique achievement. He cruised to a wire-to-wire win, leading all 100 laps and becoming the seventh different Richmond Water Heaters Halfway Leader of the 2021 West Series season. Drew and Taylor Gray were the only repeat halfway leaders this year.

But by leading all 100 laps, Gibbs clinched not only the in-race Valvoline Lap Leader award. He took the season-long lap leader crown in the West Series, as well, despite the fact that he competed in only two of the nine races on the schedule. Gibbs jumped ahead of Jesse Love with 224 total West Series laps led, making him the year-long Valvoline Lap Leader in the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and the ARCA Menards Series West.

An unprecedented accomplishment, it is an end cap to Gibbs’ otherworldly 2021 season across the ARCA and NASCAR platforms. He won 16 total races and led 2,158 total laps between the three AMS divisions and the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Love, who left Phoenix as the West Series champion for the second consecutive season, was a close second to Gibbs in the West Series lap leader standings with 183 on the year. Gibbs and Love were among the 14 different drivers who led at least one lap in West competition this year, an increase over the 10 different drivers who led during the 2020 season even though last year’s slate featured 11 races to nine in 2021.

Love became the back-to-back champion in dramatic fashion, moving into a tie with Drew atop the point standings on the white-flag lap of the race. Love moved around Drew’s teammate, Trevor Huddleston, for 14th place when Huddleston slowed in belief the race had ended a lap sooner than it actually did.

Love’s title-winning pass was voted the Reese’s Sweet Move of the Race and became the final entrant to the postseason Reese’s Sweet Move of the Year tournament. Voting for the Reese’s Sweet Move of the Year is underway on Twitter.

Love’s Bill McAnally Racing teammate Cole Moore left Phoenix with some hardware of his own. Moore had a lackluster qualifying run that placed him 20th on the grid, but he avoided trouble and advanced through the field in a smooth manner on his way to a 10th-place finish. Moore earned K&N Filters Hard Charger honors for gaining 10 positions during the race.

The fight for the Bounty Rookie Challenge (rookie of the year) title in the West Series was deadlocked in a three-way tie entering Phoenix, leaving its trio of contenders with a simple scenario for the Arizona Lottery 100: the highest finisher would be named the rookie of the year.

Though Gibbs took the Bounty Rookie of the Race in a walkover, the battle for the rookie of the year was intense and ended with Moore holding off Drew and Joey Iest to become 2021’s top West newcomer. Moore finished just one position ahead of Drew while Iest came home 17th.

Perhaps this will be a good omen for Moore. The defending West Series Bounty Rookie Challenge titleholder from 2020 was none other than his 2021 teammate, the series champion Love.

Information regarding the presentation of ARCA Menards Series final awards will be announced at a later date.