Skip to content

ARCA Menards rewind: Takeaways from Kansas Speedway

The fourth race of the 2022 ARCA Menards Series season, Saturday’s Dutch Boy 150 at Kansas Speedway, was filled with intrigue.

Nick Sanchez, who scored his maiden ARCA victory at Kansas Speedway last October, collected his second straight victory Saturday afternoon. He did so by holding off a determined drive from his Rev Racing teammate Rajah Caruth, who continues his quest for his first ARCA triumph.

That battle between teammates for the checkered flag provided only a portion of the drama Saturday. The rest stemmed from a crash involving Corey Heim and Drew Dollar, which took place as the duo were battling for the race lead.

The crash ultimately ended any chance at victory for both drivers, creating an opportunity for Sanchez and Caruth to take control of the race and settle things amongst themselves.

MORE KANSAS: Results | Highlights | Photos

Plus, Will Kimmel brought home his first top-10 finish of the season in a substitute role for injured driver Scott Melton.

Below are the key takeaways from Saturday’s Dutch Boy 150 at Kansas Speedway.

Nick Sanchez strikes again as Caruth falls just short

Sanchez is establishing himself as one of the drivers to beat in the battle for the ARCA Menards Series championship.

After a tough start to the season at Daytona International Speedway that saw Sanchez finish 20th, he has rebounded with three straight strong runs that began with a seventh-place finish at Phoenix Raceway in March.

He followed that up with a victory at Talladega Superspeedway in April, his first of the season and the second of his young ARCA career.

That brings us to Saturday at Kansas, where Sanchez skillfully held off teammate Rajah Caruth during the final run to the checkered flag for his second straight victory of the season.

Sanchez inherited the lead when Heim and Dollar crashed while battling for the lead during a restart on Lap 58. Sanchez led all but one of the remaining laps on his way to the victory, but he was closely followed by Caruth the entire way.

While Sanchez may have taken the lead on Lap 58, the moment that may have won him the race actually came earlier in the race on Lap 39. At that moment in the race, Caruth was actually ahead of Sanchez and appeared to have the better race car.

However, Caruth was forced to slam on the brakes coming out of Turn 4 to avoid the slower car of Zachary Tinkle, who had come up the track and into his racing line. Sanchez seized the opportunity and blew past Caruth to take the third position, a move that ultimately earned Sanchez the Reese’s Sweet Move of the Race.

The victory by Sanchez and career best runner-up finish by Caruth have allowed the Rev Racing duo to move into a tie at the top the ARCA Menards Series standings after four events. The pair each have 155 points and hold a three-point advantage on GMS Racing’s Daniel Dye, who sits alone in the third position.

Corey Heim, Drew Dollar wreck from the lead

For more than half of Saturday’s Dutch Boy 150 at Kansas Speedway, it appeared as though either Heim or Dollar would be taking a trip to Victory Lane at the 1.5-mile paved tri-oval.

However, that changed dramatically on Lap 58.

While battling for the race lead shortly after a restart, the pair came together coming out of Turn 4 and crashed. Heim’s car was damaged beyond repair. Dollar was able to continue, only to have a tire fail on his damaged car shortly thereafter to bring his race to a premature end.

“I gave him plenty of room I thought,” Heim said in the aftermath of the crash. “In (turns) one and two we were side drafting each other pretty hard. I race Drew with a lot of respect, and Drew is a close friend of mine.

“Yeah, I don’t know. It just looks like he lost it. That’s just part of it. I don’t think he did it on purpose. He’s trying to go for the win. It is what it is.”

Dollar, who was making his third of four scheduled starts this season for Kyle Busch Motorsports, took the blame for the incident.

“Just a racing incident really. Made a mistake that took us out of it,” Dollar said. “Just tough when someone is on your outside and you get loose. Obviously just a racing deal, a mistake. I hate that I ruined Corey’s day, and hate that I did that for the guys. Obviously it was a car capable of winning, and I messed it up.”

Both men are scheduled to compete in the next race on the ARCA Menards Series schedule, the General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27.

Will Kimmel delivers for recovering Scott Melton

Kimmel originally had no plans of racing at Kansas on Saturday afternoon, but that changed when Scott Melton suffered a broken left leg in a crash at Talladega Superspeedway last month.

Melton, rather than park the race car that he owns and is fielded by Kimmel Racing, decided to put Kimmel in the seat for Kansas.

Kimmel thanked Melton for the opportunity by scoring a sixth-place finish, his first top 10 of the season and his first top 10 on at a track larger than a mile since a 10th-place result at Pocono Raceway in 2016 and his 43rd career top-10 finish in ARCA competition.

The No. 69 entry will be back on track again in two weeks at Charlotte, and Kimmel is once again scheduled to be behind the wheel. It will be Kimmel’s first ARCA start at Charlotte.

NOTES:

  • History was made in the race control booth at Kansas on Saturday, as Tiffany Myrick became the first woman to serve as race director for an ARCA Menards Series event. A native of Alabama who grew up going to races at Talladega Superspeedway, Myrick joined NASCAR in 2018.
  • A mistake on pit road dropped Daniel Dye off the lead lap early in the Dutch Boy 150, but a few timely cautions allowed Dye to make up that lost time, and he rallied to finish third. He remains firmly in the hunt for the ARCA Menards Series championship alongside Sanchez and Caruth.
  • Gus Dean finished fourth despite damaged to the right-front of his race car that was sustained when he hit a piece of debris early in the race. It was his third top-five finish in as many ARCA Menards Series starts this season for Venturini Motorsports.
  • Connor Mosack drove to a career best fifth-place finish for Bret Holmes Racing on Saturday, besting his previous best finish of 10th earlier this year at Phoenix Raceway.
  • Drivers earning their first top-10 finishes of the season in the Dutch Boy 150 included Will Kimmel (sixth), Greg Van Alst (seventh), Ron Vandermeir Jr. (eighth) and Amber Balcaen (ninth).