Ty Gibbs Leads the Way in ARCA Menards Series Practice at Salem

13 Apr 2019
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Sixteen-year-old Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy/Terrible Herbst/ORCA Coolers/Advance Auto Parts Toyota) led the way in practice for the ARCA Menards Series Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 at Salem Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Gibbs, driving for his grandfather Joe Gibbs, turned a fast lap at 17.032 seconds/117.309 miles per hour.

Fellow sixteen-year-old Carson Hocevar (No. 28 Scott’s/Berger Chevrolet/KBR Development Chevrolet) timed in second quickest at 17.044 seconds/117.226 miles per hour. Another sixteen-year-old, Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota) was third quickest at 17.072 seconds/117.034 miles per hour. Smith won the race at Salem last fall leading 199 of the race’s 200 laps.

Fifteen-year-old Sam Mayer (No. 21 Chevy Accessories/Driver’s Edge Development Chevrolet) was fourth fastest at 17.092 seconds/116.897 miles per hour. Mayer scored his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend. Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford) rounded out the top five at 17.106 seconds/116.801 miles per hour.

Defending race winner and current ARCA Menards Series championship leader Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) was sixth, Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) was seventh, Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation/Southern States Bank Chevrolet) was eighth, Corey Heim (No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford) was ninth and Tanner Gray (No. 54 Valvoline/Durst Toyota) rounded out the top ten.

The only two incidents of the day were minor, but each involved one of the two Chad Bryant Racing cars. Joe Graf, Jr. experienced a cracked oil pan and dropped oil on the track surface, necessitating a red flag. Then, with about 35 minutes remaining in the 90-minute session, teammate Corey Heim scuffed the turns three and four wall bringing out the second red flag of the session. The only other stoppage was for a spring rubber in the groove on the frontstretch.

General Tire Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 3 pm ET on Saturday. The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 is scheduled for 2 pm ET on Sunday, April 14. The race will be televised live flag-to-flag on MAVTV. ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat for free at ARCARacing.com. New users can register at ARCARacing.com/login.

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Steven B. Wilson

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