Chandler Smith puts his name at the top of the ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown point standings.
The General Tire 150 recorded the inaugural race for the ARCA Menards Series at Phoenix Raceway on Friday night. This race was the second of their 20-race schedule. For the ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown, it was the first race of their ten-race schedule. For Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 20 for Venturini Motorsports, it was just part of a good day from the beginning to the win.
In the only practice session to prepare for the race, Venturini Motorsports teams faired well with Michael Self (No. 25) finishing second, Smith in third and Drew Dollar (No. 15) finishing fifth. The qualifying session was more of the same. Self and Smith went on to earn the second and third starting spots with Dollar getting the sixth-place spot.
Smith was contending in the top-five for most of the 150-lap race. Ty Gibbs was in the top spot as the lap leader of the race for 122 laps.
The pivotal moment for Chandler Smith came during the last pit stop of the night.
Crew chief Billy Venturini made the call for a two-tire stop giving Smith the track position he needed. Coming off pit road in the lead, the 17-year-old kept the top spot for the next 11 laps on his way to the checkered flag and a victory.
“What a great night tonight at Phoenix Raceway for the ARCA Menards Series and Venturini Motorsports,” said race winner Chandler Smith. “We had a really fast JBL Toyota Camry right off the truck and spent most of our time learning the PJ1 and how the car would react during race time with the Goodyear rubber being on the track.”
“My crew chief Billy Venturini made great calls all night and on the last pit stop chose track position over four General Tires and that was the race-winning call. I am so happy for everyone on Venturini Motorsports and earning the first Sioux Chief Showdown win of 2020 is really neat. Focus forward and set our sights on Salem Speedway next.”
Smith is running the entire Showdown schedule this season. Plus he plans on racing three ARCA Menards Series races at Springfield, Pocono, and Kansas.
Finishing second is Michael Self who overcame early electrical issues. With several pit stops under caution, the team was able to correct the issue. Which allowed Self to race back to the front and finish runner-up to his Venturini teammate. Coming to the finish line, Self surged by Ty Gibbs forcing him to a third-place finish by a mere 0.022 seconds. Tanner Gray and Zane Smith round out the top-five finishers.
Rounding out the top-ten are Nick Sanchez, Hailie Deegan, Chase Cabre, Lawless Alan, and Gio Scelzi.
After two races with a first and second-place finish, Michael Self continues to hold the ARCA Menards Series points lead by 13 points over Hailie Deegan. Chandler Smith holds the Sioux Chief Showdown points lead with just one race into the season.
The third ARCA Menards Series race is the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 400 at Salem Speedway on Sunday, April 19th. MAVTV will begin its coverage at 2 pm ET and live streaming is available for members of NBC Sports Gold TrackPass. Keep in mind, this is also the second race for the Sioux Chief Showdown competition.