Taylor Gray is Credited with a Win after Portland Penalties

Taylor Gray is credited with a win after Portland penalties to Jake Drew and Eric Nascimento in the ARCA Menards Series Portland 112.

Taylor Gray is credited with a win after Portland penalties to Jake Drew and Eric Nascimento in the ARCA Menards Series Portland 112.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Taylor Gray won Saturday night’s Portland 112 at Portland International Raceway, a victory that marked the 16-year-old’s second win in the ARCA Menards Series West dating back to last season.

He did so despite crossing the finish line third.

Taylor Gray is Credited with a Win after Portland Penalties

Jake Drew, the Sunrise Ford Racing rookie who qualified on the General Tire Pole on Saturday afternoon, crossed the finish line first after a last-lap restart on the 12-turn, 1.967-mile road course. Another rookie, Eric Nascimento, crossed the finish line second ahead of Gray.

But both Drew and Nascimento were penalized by ARCA officials for their missing the second turn on the final restart. As a result, Gray was credited with his first victory of the 2021 season.

On the last-lap restart following a caution with five laps to go, Gray, having taken the green flag in third behind Drew, appeared to make contact with the No. 9 Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil/Stilo USA/Offset Ford going into the first turn.

However, ARCA officials determined Drew still missed the second turn, as did Nascimento.

Thinking he had won his first ARCA Menards race, Drew sat at the start/finish line until the call was made. The checkered flag instead was handed to Gray several minutes after he had parked his No. 17 Ripper Coffee Ford on pit road.

Drew, who led the most laps Saturday after topping the charts in both practice sessions Friday ahead of his winning the General Tire Pole Award at Portland, was credited with a tenth-place finish.

Nascimento finished behind him in 11th.

The Portland 112 Results

P.J. Pedroncelli, the 31-year-old who is racing full-time in the West Series this season in his family-owned No. 33 Toyota, set a new career-best with his second-place finish at Portland. His previous career-best finish was third, at Sonoma Raceway (his home track) and California’s Irwindale Speedway, both this season.

Jesse Love, the 16-year-old defending West Series champion and the points leader through six of nine events in 2021, finished third after the last-lap chaos. The result leaves Love with a 19-point advantage over second-place Drew in the championship standings with three West Series races remaining.

The ARCA Menards Series West Point Standings

Joey Iest finished fourth at Portland ahead of Takuma Koga, who picked up his second top-five finish in 87 West Series races dating back to 2002.

Tim Spurgeon, Trevor Huddleston, Stafford Smith, Paul Pedroncelli and Drew rounded out the top ten.

Despite his involvement in an accident on lap 13, Drew had driven back to the lead by the time lap 39 arrived. He held that spot until it was taken from him via ARCA’s post-race decision.

Saturday’s Portland 112, the West Series’ first event at Portland International Raceway since 2012 and the series’ sixth race at the venue overall, featured seven cautions for 21 laps.

Gray was the subject of one of those yellow flags. Leading a restart on lap 34, he got turned in the second turn. Gray lost a lap as a result of the incident, but he earned the free pass to get back on the lead lap when the next yellow flag waved on lap 43.

Gray slowly drove back to the front of the field to put himself in position for a chance to win on the final restart. Of course, the victory did not arrive in the manner by which he might have intended.

Up Next for the ARCA West

The ARCA Menards Series West will return to action Thursday, Sept. 23, for the Star Nursery 150 at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The seventh race of the 2021 season will be shown live on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass starting at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET.

A replay of the Portland 112 at Portland International Raceway will be broadcast on NBCSN on Saturday, Sept. 18, starting at 9 p.m. PT / 12 a.m. ET.