Story By: ADAM FENWICK / ARCA – DOVER, DE – All Taylor Gray needed to end Sammy Smith’s ARCA Menards Series East winning streak was a new horse.
Gray, at the wheel of the No. 17 Ford Mustang for David Gilliland Racing, dominated Friday’s General Tire 125 at Dover Motor Speedway for the first East Series victory of his young career.
The race served as the debut for the new Ford Mustang body style in ARCA competition and Gray used it to put on a clinic. He set a track record in qualifying to earn the pole for the 125-lap event before leading 115 laps on his way to the checkered flag.
It’s Gray’s second victory on the ARCA Menards platform this season following his maiden ARCA Menards Series victory earlier this year at Phoenix Raceway.
The only other driver to lead laps Friday was two-time ARCA Menards Series West champion Jesse Love, who briefly took the lead from Gray following a restart on lap 30.
His time at the front was brief as Gray ran him back down and passed him shortly before the first of two race breaks at lap 40. Gray proceeded to lead the remainder of the race while Love finished second, 1.456 seconds behind Gray.
Conner Jones finished third in his debut for Venturini Motorsports, with ARCA Menards Series points leader Rajah Caruth following in fourth.
Smith, who opened the East Series season with victories at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finished fifth.
Gray’s victory, combined with Smith’s fifth-place finish, leaves Smith with a narrow two-point edge in the East Series standings after three races.
Jake Finch, Jonathan Shafer, Leland Honeyman, Daniel Escoto and Christian Rose completed the top-10.
A replay of Friday’s General Tire 125 at Dover Motor Speedway will be broadcast on USA Network on Friday, May 6 at 12 p.m. ET.
The ARCA Menards Series East season resumes on May 7 when the series visits Tennessee’s Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway