ARCA Menards Series Race Recap: Salem Speedway

David Gilliland Racing

Saturday, October 2

Track: Salem Speedway, .555-mile oval
Race: 19 of 20
Event: Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 (200 laps, 111 miles)

Taylor Gray, No. 17 Ripper Coffee Ford Fusion

Start: 2nd
Finish: 11th

  • Taylor Gray qualified second for the 200-lap event at Salem Speedway. He maintained position for the opening 36 laps before he fell to third. He pitted from fourth on lap 63 to try and tighten the car up.
  • After restarting 12th, he quickly advanced three positions to ninth. However, with 10 laps to go the right rear tire began to come apart which forced the young driver to slow down significantly to make it to the stage break. He lost one lap on lap 92 and a subsequent lap on lap 98.
  • The team pitted from 11th at the competition pit break on lap 101 for four fresh tires and fuel. With being trapped two laps down, the Ripper Coffee Fusion was only able to gain one spot to 10th during the second stint of the race.
  • Caution flag waved again on lap 150 for the second pit break. Gray came down pit road to replace right side tires for the final 50 laps.
  • On the restart, the Ford driver moved up to the ninth position and ran there for much of the final stage before being passed with six laps to go. He ultimately crossed the finish line after 200 laps in 11th.

JP Bergeron, No. 46 Prolon Ford Fusion

Start: 7th
Finish: 8th

  • JP Bergeron qualified seventh for his ARCA Menards Series debut at Salem Speedway. He quickly got comfortable behind the wheel of his Fusion and battled for the sixth position for nearly 20 laps before finally snagging the position on lap 30.
  • When the caution flag waved on lap 43, the Canadian driver was into the top-five. 20 laps later, the caution flag waved again and he was in fourth.
  • The first competition pit break came at lap 101 and the No. 46 was in seventh. The team pitted for two tires, fuel and adjustments to loosen up the race car.
  • On the restart, Bergeron settled into eighth and maintained position there. He lost one lap to the leader on lap 136, but was still in eighth when the caution flag waved for the second pit break on lap 150.
  • Crew chief Derek Smith called him down pit road for four tires, fuel and they went back on the adjustments from the previous stop as they made the car way too loose.
  • Bergeron restarted the race from eighth with 45 laps remaining and ran there until the checkered flag waved earning his first career ARCA top-10.

Next event: Reese’s 150 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas on October 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET.