ARCA West: Sammy Smith wins Desert Diamond Casino West valley 100 at Phoenix; Jake Drew Claims 2022 Driver Championship

Sammy Smith scored the victory on Friday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway after an eventful day behind the wheel of his No. 18 Toyota. Smith, surviving two ARCA overtime attempts, started on the pole and led 49 of the 50 circuits until receiving a penalty for aggressive driving.

Following a restart, Taylor Gray momentarily took the lead from Smith while throwing an aggressive block as they went down the backstretch. The block was not successful as Smith made contact with Gray to send him around. ARCA then penalized Smith with aggressive driving and held the driver for one lap.

Gray was done for the day and finished 27th.

The winner led 75 of the 107 laps to win his 10th race across the ARCA Menards Series, ARCA East, and ARCA West divisions in 2022.

Jake Drew entered the day needing to take the green flag to claim the 2022 ARCA Menards Series West championship. Finishing 13th, Drew ended the championship season with nine top-five and 10 top-10 finishes with four victories.

Jesse Love fought hard to finish the day runner-up by 0.866 seconds. 

Andres Perez de Lara, Landon Pembelton, and Todd Souza rounded out the top five.

Taking home top 10s included Landen Lewis, Bradley Erickson, Parker Chase, Jake Finch, and Tanner Reif.

The event featured 10 cautions and had three leaders and four lead changes.

Brett Winningham
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