Shakeup in the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge at Nashville

Shakeup in the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge at Nashville

Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) quickly established himself as the man to beat in the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge early on this season, winning the first two short track races at Five Flags Speedway and Salem Speedway. He looked particularly untouchable at Salem, dominating the rain-shortened event, and took over the top spot in the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge standings. So it’s only fitting that just when it looked like Self had the opportunity to continue to pad his lead, the ever-unpredictable Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville threw him a nasty curveball.

Self was riding comfortably in fourth place, clicking off the laps, when chaos unfolded in front of him. Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota), Self’s closest competitor in the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge heading into Nashville, was growing impatient with the lapped machine of Tommy Vigh Jr. (No. 10 Extreme Kleaner Ford). Gibbs and Vigh made contact heading into the first turn on lap 73, sending Vigh’s car spinning. A line of cars in front of Self took evasive action down low on the apron. Self followed suit, but the hole closed up just before he could make it through.

The front of Vigh’s car just barely clipped the right rear of Self’s car, with Self nosing into the outside wall hard as a result. Just like that, Self’s day was done in the 15th position and the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge race became wide open. Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) capitalized on Self’s accident the most, taking the lead not long after and pulling away to win the Music City 200.

When the dust settled at the end of the race, Ty Gibbs was in the lead of the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge standings with a second-place finish. Self’s prior 25-point lead turned into a 40-point deficit as he dropped to third. Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman Toyota), who won the General Tire Pole Award at Nashville, came home third and is now in sole possession of second place in the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge points hunt. Gibbs’ 640 points gives him a very narrow lead over Smith’s 635 points.

Behind the trio of leaders, Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet) and Corey Heim (No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford) are in a tie for fourth with 585 points. Overall ARCA Menards Series championship point leader Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Ford) is in eighth place with 540 points, exactly 100 points behind Gibbs. Nashville race winner Christian Eckes is buried back in 11th place after missing the first Salem date with an illness. The Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge takes the best ten short track finishes for each driver into consideration at the end of the season, so Eckes is still very much in the fight for the top spot as long as he does not miss another race.

The top 12 drivers in the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge standings are all among the entries received so far for the next ARCA Menards Series event, the Sioux Chief PowerPex 200 at Toledo Speedway. Catch the live television broadcast on Sunday, May 19 on MAVTV at 2:00 PM Eastern, or follow along online at for live timing and scoring available for free to all registered users.


good luck to everybody on the short tracks the rest of the year...