NASCAR: Taylor Gray’s ARCA Win at Phoenix Was the Perfect Tribute to His Late Teammate

by Joe Rutland

NASCAR driver Taylor Gray wins on the ARCA circuit on Friday night in Phoenix. But there was more to the victory than just a flag. Gray, 16, drives for David Gilliland Racing. He won the General Tire 150 ARCA race in Phoenix. It happened three days after Steven Stotts, the team’s hauler driver, died in an accident. The NASCAR team member was in a semi and rammed into the rear of an SUV in Texas.

NASCAR Taylor Gray Takes ARCA Win In Phoenix For Stotts

Stotts was on his way to the race. His semi rolled onto the median and caught fire. He died. Two other team members and the driver of the SUV were injured but they all survived. The NASCAR Taylor Gray ARCA win in Phoenix happened when he took the lead with 12 laps to go in the Ford No. 17. He held on through two overtime periods. It was his first victory in a NASCAR-sanctioned national series. Gray was using a backup car that he’d qualified second in. We get more from FOX News.

“This is just for Steven,” Taylor Gray said after the NASCAR ARCA race in Phoenix. “I feel like he looked over me today and helped me get this win.”

Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Sgt. Jean Dark said the crash happened in the westbound lanes near Longview. In an initial report, authorities say Stotts failed to control his speed when he came up behind an SUV hauling a small box trailer. Stotts reportedly struck the SUV. That caused the semi to roll onto its side and into the center median. The towed trailer vaulted “over the concrete barrier into the eastbound lane” and onto its side in the median.

Emergency personnel took SUV driver Young Mo Kang, of Montgomery, Ala., to a Longview hospital. Additional personnel took former NASCAR driver David Gilliland’s employees John P. Zaverl and Michael Mizzelle to the hospital. 

Todd Gilliland Getting Behind the Wheel For Georgia Peanuts Car

In other news, we’re coming up on the 25th anniversary of NASCAR driver Harris DeVane’s victory in the ARCA Menards Series. But the Georgia Peanut Commission did approach Todd Gilliland with an idea to bring back the classic Georgia Peanuts car. Gilliland has accepted and you can watch out at the Atlanta Speedway later in March and the Talladega Superspeedway in October.

See, the NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender will sport Georgia Peanuts’ branding on his No. 38 Ford Mustang. Back in the early 1990s, DeVane started competing in the ARCA Racing Series. Though he made 59 starts in the Series, the peanut farmer and Georgia native only won once – in 1997, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, under the Georgia Peanuts banner.