SONOMA, Calif. – After his redemption win from last weekend at Portland International Raceway, Jake Drew dominated the General Tire 200 at Sonoma Raceway to earn back to back wins in the 2022 ARCA Menards Series West schedule.
“It’s awesome to win in Sonoma,” said Drew.
It was a dominant day for the No. 6 Sunrise Racing Ford earning the pole, leading 48 laps and winning under caution.
“It was an awesome day,” Drew continued. “Plenty of people were coming up and battling with me. Two poles in two years, and we get the race win this year so that’s pretty awesome.”
The focus for Drew has been challenging at the start of the season. For a young sophomore driver to overcome adversity to finally earn his first career win and back it up with another trophy is hard to describe. But Drew simply says redemption.
“Every success we have this year is a redemption from last year in every way,” Drew stated. “From being so close to the championship as a rookie to learning everything as we go, it’s awesome to put our best foot forward and take advantage of the experience I gained last year.”
Both wins have both come on road courses but also when ARCA officials have called the race shy of the scheduled distance. Drew has learned that it matters to put himself in the right position at any given time, even if it means hoping for a little luck on his side.
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back green,” Drew explained from his perspective. “I knew we had a dominant car all day, but we were still having to fight off people. I knew if they gave us a green-white-checkered, it was probably not going to be a great situation for us with everyone getting so aggressive. I was really just hoping the race went the right way. I feel like that was kind of the right way, but that might be biased since I came out the winner.”
After the fifth race of the season, Drew now holds a 35 point lead over Todd Souza for the ARCA West championship. With it being a much different position this year and two wins to back up his efforts, his focus shifts toward the championship. Whether an aggressive focus or a conservative endeavor, he hopes for a solid rest of the year.
“I don’t ever want to be on the back foot and get over-aggressive in any situation. But needless to say, the other people can be over-aggressive because what do they have to lose? It’ll be tough. We’re going to do our best and just have the best race car we can every time. I hope that everyone can treat me the same way – I don’t think I’ve disrespected anybody in any way. Hopefully it’s just a fun year.”
The series heads down to southern California to Irwindale Speedway on July 2 where he has a worst finish of fourth in three starts. Odds may be in his favor to make it three in a row, but short track energy can beam anywhere.
“Two for two on road courses,” Drew admitted, looking forward to Irwindale. “But it’s not like we haven’t been knocking on the door at ovals either. Even though we don’t have that for sure win yet, I’m super happy that we’re really consistent on the ovals as well. We’re looking forward to more wins this year.
“(Tanner Rief) ran good there last time, he dominated. Hopefully it’s my turn this time. We got a fifth at Phoenix so I’m excited to go back there and be able to put some cars between us. As far as the rest of the tracks, we have a good track record at Irwindale.”
According to a press release by ARCA, a replay of the General Tire 200 at Sonoma will be shown on USA Network on Thursday, June 16, starting at 3 p.m. ET. The West Series will take a few weeks off before returning to action at California’s Irwindale Speedway for the NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. That race is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET with a live stream available on FloRacing.