Conventional wisdom suggested the General Tire 150 at Phoenix Raceway would apply some heat to the early ARCA Menards Series championship race.
Indeed, through two races in 2021, the winner of the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, Corey Heim, has just a three-point lead in the standings over second-place Ty Gibbs after the latter won Friday’s 150-lap race in Avondale, Arizona.
And with the style of racing applied at Phoenix more common on the 20-race schedule than the style seen at Daytona, it’s fair to wonder whether the results of the weekend will serve as a microcosm of the title race to come.
All the while, the ARCA Menards Series West season began at Phoenix in a combination race with the ARCA Menards Series. The first of nine West Series races was unique in its combo status, but some familiar names among West regulars proved they’ll be factors for the championship come November.
Below are the top takeaways from the General Tire 150 at Phoenix.