Breaking Down the ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown at Phoenix

ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown driver Michael Self
DAYTONA, FL – FEBRUARY 08: Michael Self, driver of the #25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota, looks on after qualifying on the pole for the Lucas Oil 200 Driven By General Tire on February 8, 2020, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fl. Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown at Phoenix marks a milestone for the ARCA Menards Series.

With a new NASCAR configuration this year, The ARCA Menards Series drivers have four chances to earn a championship trophy. The ARCA Menards Series, ARCA East, and West have their season openers in the books. And now, the ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown has their first of ten races this Friday, March 6th at Phoenix Raceway.

What’s Unique…

…about the ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown Series is the drivers competing for a championship in the ARCA Menards Series, the East, and the West can all compete in the ten-race Showdown for another chance at earning a title. And, the ten-race Showdown is all part of the ARCA Menards Series 20-race schedule. Which encourages its top drivers to take part in the ten Showdown races in order to earn the overall title. But more importantly, it gives all competitors a second chance at earning a championship trophy.

What’s Historic…

…is that the ARCA Menards Series is historically a midwest series. And the ARCA East is, of course, from the east.

The ARCA East and West were part of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series before this year. When NASCAR took over the ARCA Menards Series, they rebranded their East and West Series this year under the ARCA umbrella. Although the ARCA West season-opener on February 20th at The Bullring in Las Vegas was the first time for the ARCA name in the West, it was not the first time for the series.

This week with the ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown bringing all three series’ to Phoenix, it will be the first time for the ARCA Menards Series and the ARCA East Series to race in the West. This brings the ARCA Menards Series into the national spotlight for the first time with the new ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown format.

ARCA Menards Series

Michael Self is the winner in the first of 20 races in their season at Daytona International Speedway. Last year, he finished runner-up to his Venturini Motorsports teammate Christian Eckes for the championship. This year Eckes is racing full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Self is back with a vengeance this year to compete for the main series championship trophy. His primary competitors will reveal themselves as the season continues to unfold. Of note, is that Self raced the K&N Pro Series West and is returning to Phoenix after seven years.


This series opened its eight-race season at New Smyrna Speedway in February. Sam Mayer with GMS Racing won giving him an early edge over his opponents. Derek Griffith, a rookie this season with Chad Bryant Racing was second. That makes him one to watch as the season continues. Another driver to keep an eye on is third-place driver Ty Gibbs, part of Joe Gibbs Racing development. With 11 starts last year, Gibbs came home with two wins, seven top-five, and nine top-ten finishes. For now, these three have put themselves in a position to contend all year.


They opened their ten-race season at The Bullring in Las Vegas. What’s interesting here is that ARCA East driver Sam Mayer with GMS Racing is testing his chances in the West by contending and winning the first race of the season.

West drivers putting themselves in a position to contend are second-place rookie Jesse Love with Bill McAnally, along with the next three drivers as ones to watch this season. Rookie Blaine Perkins (third) with Sunrise Ford Racing, Female Rookie Gracie Trotter (fourth) with Bill McAnally Racing, and Trevor Huddleston with Sunrise Ford Racing. These two teams – Bill McAnally Racing and Sunrise Ford Racing – are perennial favorites to win the championship. And this year is shaping up with that same trend.

ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown

The entry list for this event is impressive with 25 drivers from all over the country. Several drivers mentioned above are on the list. Other notables are Hailie Deegan with DGR Crosley, Chandler Smith with Venturini Motorsports, Chase Cabre with Rev Racing, Christian McGee with Chad Bryant Racing, Brett Holmes with his own race team, and Thad Moffitt racing for Bo LeMastus co-owner of DGR Crosley. They are all on the national stage this Friday with the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series also racing in Phoenix this weekend.

Fans can watch the ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown at Phoenix Raceway on March 6th on FS1 at 7 pm ET.