Sammy Smith Snags ARCA East Pole at New Smyrna
Feb 15, 2022
Much like one year ago, a late-race restart decided the ARCA Menards Series East season opener at New Smyrna Speedway. This time, Sammy Smith took the upper hand to score the victory.
The 2021 series champion outdueled Taylor Gray to secure the win in the 200-lap event at the Florida half-mile.
"Thanks to the whole team, TMC Pilot, KBM, all the guys," said Smith in victory lane. "It was a tough one, we had to battle for it, but we're looking forward to the Super race here soon."
Throughout the race, Gray was Smith's only consistent threat for the top spot, pulling ahead on several restarts. On the final restart, however, Smith held on to the top spot to add to his win collection at New Smyrna Speedway.
"I just had to have a good restart. He was kind of jumping on every restart, but we were able to get ahead on that one and here we are."
Smith has four career wins during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in Late Model competition, as well as a win in the Florida Governors Cup. He also entered Tuesday evening as the World Series points leader for the Super Late Model division this year.
While there are stark differences between the ARCA Menards Series stock cars and the Super Late Models, Smith felt the 200 laps of track time would only help him with a Super Late Model race later in the night.
"I think it helps me. It's track time. If you're a race car driver, you can adapt to any car. I feel good going into the Super race, and hopefully we can get another one."
Taylor Gray finished second, with last year's winner, Max Gutierrez, coming home third.
ARCA Menards Series East
1. Sammy Smith
2. Taylor Gray
3. Max Gutierrez
4. Leland Honeyman
5. Donald Theetge
6. Mason Diaz
7. Logan Misuraca
8. Willie Mullins
9. Stephanie Moyer
10. Ed Pompa
11. Christian Rose
12. Steve Austin
13. Caleb Costner
14. Tony Cosentino
15. Brad Smith
16. Zachary Tinkle