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Chandler Smith Wins at Phoenix Raceway

March 7, 2020

ARCA Menards Series
General Tire 150

Phoenix Raceway

March 6, 2020

 

Race Highlights:

 

·     The General Tire 150 marked the inaugural race for the ARCA Menards Series at Phoenix Raceway. The race marked the second event of the 20-race season and the first of the Sioux Chief Showdown. 

·     Venturini Motorsports (VMS) fielded three Toyota Camry’s: No. 15 Drew Dollar, No. 20 Chandler Smith and No. 25 Michael Self.

·     Friday saw a lone two-hour practice session, in which all three VMS cars participated. At practice end Michael Self was second fastest, followed by Chandler Smith in third and Drew Dollar fifth.

·     Qualifying played out much the same way as practice, with Self and Smith starting second and third and Dollar coming home sixth.

·     During the beginning part of the race Self experienced electrical issues forcing him to make several pit stops under caution. His No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota Camry team was able to rectify the issue, allowing Self to battle back to a second-place finish. 

·     Dollar ran well inside the top-10 for most of the nights outing, while fighting handling issues inside his No. 20 Lynx Capital, Dollar Concrete Toyota Camry. A late race on-track scuffle resulted in moderate body damage, forcing multiple pit stops for repairs. Dollar was able to bring home his car 14th

·     Smith battled up-front for most of the 150-lap event, but a late-race pit call by crew chief Billy Venturini gave the 17-year old the track position he needed to bring home his first victory of the 2020 season in the No. 20 JBL Toyota Camry. 

·     On deck next for VMS is the ARCA Menards Series East race at Five Flags Speedway on Saturday, March 14th. The team will field two Toyota entries: No. 20 Corey Heim and No. 25 Mason Diaz. 

 

 

Drew Dollar No. 15 Lynx Capital, Dollar Concrete Construction Company Toyota Camry

 

“Disappointing night for us at Phoenix. We got stuck in some bad positions and took on body damage that really effected the handling of our car. I am going to learn from this race and start focusing on Salem Speedway. I’m proud of how the team fought all night and know this is just a minor setback in our season.

 

Start – 6                      Finish – 14                  Points – 3rd

 

 

Chandler Smith No. 20 JBL Toyota Camry

 

“What a great night tonight at Phoenix Raceway for the ARCA Menards Series and Venturini Motorsports. 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 choose 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.”

 

Start – 3                      Finish – 1                     Sioux Chief Points – 1st

 

Michael Self No. 25 Sinclair Oil, Champion Power Equipment Toyota Camry

 

“Friday nights race was definitely a more hectic day than we wanted, but everyone on the No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota team did a great job overcoming adversity and giving me a fast car. Starting the year out with a win and a second place has a ton of confidence and momentum swirling around the whole team, so I am hoping we can keep it going when we head to Salem Speedway in a few weeks.” 

 

Start – 2                      Finish – 2                     Points – 1st

 

 

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About Venturini Motorsports

With over 65 victories, the 2019 ARCA Menards Series champions, Venturini Motorsports, are an official Toyota Racing Development team, and have been a permanent fixture in the ARCA Menards Series since 1983 and are considered one of the early pioneers in NASCAR driver development programs. 

Since Joey Logano, the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion, raced for the team in 2007, VMS has gone onto assist many of the sports’ top driver prospects in pursuit of making it to the highest levels of stock car racing. 

The growing list of drivers racing today in one of NASCAR’s top-three touring series include current Toyota drivers Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, Harrison Burton, Christian Eckes, Chandler Smith, Brandon Jones, Todd Gilliland, Brennan Poole, Ryan Reed and Natalie Decker. VMS Alumni also include Joey Logano, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace, Matt Tifft, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier and Justin Haley.