It only took 12 races for Gracie Trotter to etch her name in the history books.
The 19-year-old from Denver, Colorado, drove away with the win in the General Tire 150 Saturday at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In the process, Trotter became the first female winner of an ARCA Racing sanctioned event.
This is Trotter’s first year in the ARCA Menards Series West as she is piloting the No. 99 ENEOS Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing. In addition to eight starts in the West, she’s run three ARCA Menards Series races and an ARCA Menards Series East race. She also drives on the East Coast for Rev Racing as part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, and won her first Late Model race at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway last week.
Trotter fended off BMR teammate Gio Scelzi on a late-race restart with 10 laps to go and then drove away to win by .821 seconds. ARCA Menards Series West points leader Jesse Love finished third to give BMR a sweep of the podium.
Love won the General Tire Pole Award and led early. But Trotter, who had five top fives in her first seven starts — including a runner-up finish at Oregon’s Douglas County Speedway in August — made a three-wide pass for the lead on Lap 54.
Trotter led three times for a race-high 95 laps.
In the 68-year history of ARCA Racing, the highest finish for a female has been second. In addition to Trotter in the ARCA Menards Series West, Shawna Robinson (1999), and Erin Crocker Evernham (2005 and 2006) accomplished that feat. Hailie Deegan became the first female to win a West Series race with her victories in 2018 and 2019 under the NASCAR banner. This is the first season both the East and West series are part of ARCA Racing.
Kyle Keller finished fourth in his first series start and Todd Souza was fifth.
Takuma Koga, Bridget Burgess, Bobby Hillis Jr., Holley Hollan and Blaine Perkins rounded out the top 10.
Both Sunrise Ford drivers, Perkins and Trevor Huddleston, had suspension issues early in the race. Huddleston led 14 laps before he caught the wall while leading on Lap 47, and Perkins had subsequent issues that derailed his top-five run.
As a result, Love increased his lead to 16 points over Perkins with three races remaining. Trotter, third in points, moved closer to Perkins as well. She is just 15 points out of the runner-up position.
The ARCA Menards Series West has a doubleheader weekend next up: the NAPA 150 presented by Freon Can Return for $10 Program at All American Speedway in Roseville, California, on Friday, Oct. 23, and the NAPA ENEOS 125 presented by West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California, on Sunday, Oct. 25.
— ARCA Racing —