Gracie Trotter notched a top-10 finish in just her second start in an ARCA Menards Series Showdown event, coming home ninth in the Bill McAnally Racing No. 99 ENEOS Toyota Camry at Iowa Speedway on Saturday.
The 18-year-old from Denver, N.C., turned in a solid performance in charging from 21st on the grid in the Shore Lunch 150 at the .875-mile oval in Newton, Iowa.
Her finish was a positive turnaround after her team struggled in diagnosing mechanical trouble during practice earlier in the day.
“The team worked very hard today to get it fixed the best they could,” she said. “With not much practice and not a lot of time for me to search around, I was struggling at the beginning of the race. I started to find what I liked and got my Toyota handling to my liking.
“I had a blast at Iowa,” she said. “It’s definitely a very fun track. I’m very proud of my self for the ninth-place finish against the Showdown guys.”
Trotter managed to avoid problems that her BMR teammates, Giovanni Scelzi and Jesse Love, encountered.
Love, who lined up 17th on a grid that was determined by series points, wheeled his No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry into the top 10 by Lap 25. He was running ninth when he spun, just before the midway point. He got back on the lead lap, but later lost ground with a lengthy pit stop for mechanical trouble and ended up 12th.
Scelzi started 15th in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry and steadily worked his way forward, racing in the top 10 by the midway point of the race. He later looped around going down the back stretch and then rebounded to finish 11th.
The race was a designated ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief Showdown event, one of a series of events on this year’s ARCA Menards Series schedule. The showdown events are considered a series within a series. Trotter and her BMR teammates are competing in select ARCA Series races, while running the full schedule this year in the ARCA Menards Series West.
BMR got the weekend going early at Iowa, with a visit to the NAPA AUTO PARTS store in Newton on Friday. The No. 16 NAPA Toyota race car and the team’s race day transporter were on display for race fans to view.
At the track on race day, BMR hosted a group of special guests brought by BBB Industries – providing them with a VIP experience. In addition, NGK had a VIP crewmember at the track on Saturday.
ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief Showdown Event:
Race: Shore Lunch 150, July 18, 2020
Location: Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa (.875-mile oval)
No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS / Curb Records Toyota Camry
Hometown: Fresno, Calif.
Finished: 11th (Running, completed 148 of 150 laps)
No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry
Hometown: Menlo Park, Calif.
Finished: 12th (Running, completed 144 of 150 laps)
No. 99 ENEOS Toyota Camry
Hometown: Denver, N.C.
Finished: 9th (Running, completed 150 of 150 laps)
Race winner: Ty Gibbs
ARCA Menards Series West, Aug. 7, 2020, Evergreen Speedway, Monroe, Wash. (.646-mile oval).
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!