The 2021 ARCA Menards Series East was the 35th season of the ARCA Menards Series East, a regional stock car racing series sanctioned by NASCAR in the United States. The season began on February 8 at New Smyrna Speedway with the Jeep Beach 175 and ended on September 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway with the Bush's Beans 200. Sammy Smith and Joe Gibbs Racing won the series championship. JGR's No. 18 car, driven by Smith and Ty Gibbs, won all but one race during the season.
Teams and drivers
Note: If a driver is listed as their own crew chief for a particular race, that means that their entry in that race was a start and park.
|Chevrolet||Rev Racing||6||Rajah Caruth (R)||Glenn Parker|
|Ford||David Gilliland Racing||54||Joey Iest (R)||Derek Smith 5 |
Seth Smith 3
|Rette Jones Racing||30||Max Gutiérrez (R)||Mark Rette|
|Toyota||Joe Gibbs Racing||18||Sammy Smith (R) 4[N 1]||Mark McFarland|
|Ty Gibbs 4|
|Visconti Motorsports||74||Mason Diaz||Tommy Baldwin Jr.|
|Cook-Finley Racing||42||Parker Retzlaff 6||Amber Slagle 7 |
Sean Samuels 1
|Conner Jones 2|
|Fast Track Racing||10||Dick Doheny 3||Dick Doheny 5 |
Mike Sroufe 2
Trey Galgon 1
|Ed Pompa 1|
|Owen Smith 1|
|D. L. Wilson 1|
|Arnout Kok 1|
|Jade Buford 1|
|11||Richard Garvie 2||Mike Sroufe 1 |
Steven Barton 3
Jeff McClure 3
Tony Cosentino 1
|Mason Mingus 3|
|Jade Buford 1|
|Bryce Haugeberg 1|
|Tony Cosentino 1|
- On November 13, 2020, it was announced that Lira Motorsports would be fielding a part-time entry for late model and NASCAR Roots driver Logan Misuraca. She and the team also announced that they would run part-time in the Truck Series and the big ARCA Menards Series in 2021. Her East Series schedule was going to begin at the season-opener at New Smyrna, however, Misuraca and the team ended up not attempting that race and any other races during the season. Misuraca revealed in an interview in April that her deal with Lira had fallen through.
- On January 19, 2021, Visconti Motorsports announced that Mason Diaz would drive full-time in their No. 74. In 2020, Diaz drove full-time for Venturini Motorsports, which did not field any East Series cars full-time in 2021.
- On May 14, 2021, it was announced that former JR Motorsports late model racing driver Adam Lemke would make his stock car debut in 2021, competing in select main ARCA Series, East Series, and West Series races for Rette Jones Racing. Lemke ended up only running 1 main ARCA Series race for Rette Jones and no East and West Series races. Because Max Gutiérrez drove full-time in the East Series for RJR in the No. 30, Lemke would have driven a second car for the team if he made any East Series starts.
- On September 15, 2020, it was announced that two-time consecutive champion Sam Mayer, who drove the No. 21 car for GMS Racing, would move up to the Xfinity Series in June 2021 after he turns 18 and is eligible to race in the series. He will drive the JR Motorsports No. 8 car in the second half of the season. On November 2, 2020, GMS announced that Mayer's replacement in the No. 21 would be Jack Wood, who will drive for them full-time in the East Series as well as all of the ARCA Menards Series Showdown races. Wood previously drove part-time in the ARCA Menards Series West, fielding his own team, Velocity Racing. The team ended up changing those plans, as Wood instead began driving in the main ARCA Menards Series full-time instead of the East Series, and those plans would later fall through as well because in May, Wood was promoted to drive team's No. 24 in the Truck Series. On May 1, it was announced that Conner Jones would make his East Series debut in the GMS No. 21 at the Nashville Fairgrounds.
- On December 18, 2020, DGR-Crosley announced that Joey Iest would join the team to drive in six or more races for the team in the East Series, in addition to continuing to drive for Naake-Klauer Motorsports in the West Series. Iest ended up running the full season for the renamed David Gilliland Racing team in their No. 54 car.
- On January 8, 2021, ThePitLane revealed that Nick Sanchez would continue to compete full-time for Rev Racing in 2021, but would move from the East Series to the main ARCA Menards Series. The official announcement of this came on January 15. Rookie driver Rajah Caruth, who started his career on iRacing and then began racing real cars in 2019 and 2020 with Rev Racing in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, would replace Sanchez in the No. 6.
- On February 3, 2021, it was announced that Kyle Busch Motorsports late model racing driver Sammy Smith would move up to the East Series in 2021 and would run the first six races of the series (all of the non-combination races) in the No. 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, replacing Ty Gibbs, who moved over to the main ARCA Series full-time in 2021 after turning 18. When Ty Gibbs returned to the East Series to compete in the race at Dover, JGR put him in the No. 18 and fielded a second car for Smith, the No. 81. Smith ended up running the full season for JGR as he also drove the No. 81 in the three combination races.
- On February 5, 2021, Rette Jones Racing announced that NASCAR Mexico Series driver Max Gutiérrez would drive their No. 30 full-time in the East Series in 2021. He made his ARCA debut in 2020, running the races at Bristol and Five Flags in the No. 53 for Troy Williams Racing.
- CARS Tour driver Carson Kvapil, the son of former NASCAR driver Travis Kvapil, made his ARCA debut in the East Series season-opener at New Smyrna in the No. 41 for Cook-Finley Racing. He would also run the next two races at Five Flags and the Nashville Fairgrounds.
- After testing for Fast Track Racing in ARCA's preseason test session at Daytona, Stephanie Moyer made her East Series debut with Fast Track at Five Flags in their No. 12 car. On March 9, 2021, Moyer tweeted that she would also drive at the Nashville Fairgrounds in the same car. She would also end up competing in the races at Southern National Motorsports Park and Milwaukee in the No. 12, Iowa in the No. 01, and Bristol in the No. 44 for Ferrier McClure Racing in a partnership with Fast Track.
- On April 8, 2021, Taylor Gray, who was scheduled to run another full season in the East Series, suffered a fractured L4 vertebra, left foot, and ankle in a single-car accident in Statesville, NC. On July 6, David Gilliland Racing announced that he had recovered and would return to complete the remainder of his scheduled starts, beginning with the main ARCA Series race at Elko.
- On May 6, 2021, it was announced that Mason Mingus would drive the No. 11 for Fast Track Racing at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, his home track. This is his first start in the series since 2017. Mingus competed full-time in the main ARCA Series with Win-Tron Racing in 2013, finishing 2nd in the standings, and full-time in the Truck Series in 2014 and 2015 with Win-Tron and later Billy Boat Motorsports. He would also return to the team and drive the same car in the races at SNMP and Bristol.
- On May 10, 2021, Young's Motorsports announced that Connor Mosack, a late model driver for JR Motorsports, would make his stock car debut in their No. 02 at Dover, and would also compete in the combination race at Milwaukee.
- On June 7, 2021, GMS Racing announced that Daniel Dye would join the team in their No. 21 car to compete part-time in the main ARCA Menards Series and would also move over from his full-time ride with Ben Kennedy Racing to GMS to run the rest of the East Series schedule.
- On December 9, 2020, it was announced that defending championship-winning crew chief Mardy Lindley would be joining Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series to crew chief their No. 51. Lindley was previously the crew chief of the GMS Racing No. 21 driven by Sam Mayer, and won back-to-back championships in the series with him in 2019 and 2020. He also won two other East Series championships in 2013 and 2017. This announcement came after it had been announced that Lindley would return to GMS Racing to crew chief their new driver Jack Wood this season.
- After 10 years with Toyota as their manufacturer, Rev Racing switched back to Chevy in 2021, which was their manufacturer in 2010, the team's first season.
- Visconti Motorsports switched from Chevy to Toyota in 2021.
Note: Races highlighted in gold were combination events with the ARCA Menards Series.
|1||Jeep Beach 175||New Smyrna Speedway, New Smyrna Beach, Florida||February 8|
|2||Pensacola 200||Five Flags Speedway, Pensacola, Florida||February 27|
|3||Crosley Record Pressing 200||Fairgrounds Speedway, Nashville, Tennessee||May 8|
|4||General Tire 125||Dover International Speedway, Dover, Delaware||May 14|
|5||Southern National 200 presented by Solid Rock Carriers||Southern National Motorsports Park, Kenly, North Carolina||June 12|
|6||Shore Lunch 150||Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa||July 24|
|7||Sprecher 150||Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wisconsin||August 29|
|8||Bush's Beans 200||Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee||September 16|
Results and standings
|No.||Race||Pole position||Most laps led||Winning driver||Manufacturer||No.||Winning team|
|1||Jeep Beach 175||Taylor Gray||Sammy Smith||Max Gutiérrez||Ford||30||Rette Jones Racing|
|2||Pensacola 200||Sammy Smith||Sammy Smith||Sammy Smith||Toyota||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3||Crosley Record Pressing 200||Mason Mingus||Sammy Smith||Sammy Smith||Toyota||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|4||General Tire 125||Ty Gibbs||Ty Gibbs
|Ty Gibbs||Toyota||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|5||Southern National 200 presented by Solid Rock Carriers||Mason Diaz||Mason Diaz||Sammy Smith||Toyota||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|6||Shore Lunch 150||Ty Gibbs||Ty Gibbs||Ty Gibbs||Toyota||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7||Sprecher 150||Ty Gibbs||Ty Gibbs
|Ty Gibbs||Toyota||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|8||Bush's Beans 200||Ty Gibbs||Ty Gibbs||Ty Gibbs||Toyota||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
- Gibbs led all of the laps in the race.
- The pole winner also receives 1 bonus point, similar to the previous ARCA points system used until 2019 and unlike NASCAR.
- Additionally, after groups of 5 races of the season, drivers that compete in all 5 races receive 50 additional points.
- After the fifth race of the season at Southern National Motorsports Park, Sammy Smith, Mason Diaz, Joey Iest, Max Gutiérrez, Daniel Dye, Parker Retzlaff, and Rajah Caruth received this points bonus for having competed in the first 5 races of the season (New Smyrna, Five Flags, Nashville Fairgrounds, Dover, and SNMP).
(key) Bold – Pole position awarded by time. Italics – Pole position set by final practice results or rainout. * – Most laps led. ** – All laps led.
|1||Sammy Smith (R)||2*||1*||1*||4||1||18||5||2||385|
|2||Daniel Dye (R)||6||9||8||6||6||2||3||12||351|
|3||Rajah Caruth (R)||11||4||6||14||3||9||13||6||336|
|4||Max Gutiérrez (R)||1||7||9||5||10||12||15||14||333|
|5||Joey Iest (R)||5||5||5||8||2||20||8||19||330|
|31||D. L. Wilson||16||28||44|
|46||Ron Vandermeir Jr.||14||30|
|47||Greg Van Alst||15||29|
|50||Chuck Buchanan Jr.||DNS||21||26|
- 2021 NASCAR Cup Series
- 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series
- 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- 2021 ARCA Menards Series
- 2021 ARCA Menards Series West
- 2021 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
- 2021 NASCAR Pinty's Series
- 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
- 2021 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series
- 2021 SRX Series
- "Sam Mayer reunites with JR Motorsports for Xfinity Series debut". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. September 15, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
- "Nick Sanchez to run full ARCA schedule for Rev Racing". ThePitLane. January 8, 2020. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
Sanchez will also have a teammate in the three national/Showdown races, as Rev Racing will field a car full time in the ARCA East Series for a driver that will be announced at a later date.
- "Joey Iest Joins DGR-Crosley ARCA East Effort". Speed Sport. December 18, 2020.
- Carey, Michael (January 21, 2021). "David Gilliland Racing Reveals Driver and Crew Chief Pairings for Upcoming Season". TobyChristie.com.
- Srigley, Joseph (February 5, 2021). "Max Gutiérrez Joins Rette Jones Racing for Full ARCA East Schedule in 2021". TobyChristie.com.
- Srigley, Joseph (February 3, 2021). "Sammy Smith Joins Joe Gibbs Racing's ARCA East Program for Six Races in 2021". TobyChristie.com.
- "Ty Gibbs Will Make Xfinity Debut at Daytona Road Course". Jayski's Silly Season Site. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. January 26, 2021.
- "Visconti Motorsports Adds Mason Diaz To Driver Lineup For 2021". ARCARacing.com. January 19, 2021.
- Srigley, Joseph (May 6, 2021). "Mason Mingus Driving for Fast Track Racing at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway". TobyChristie.com.
- Srigley, Joseph (December 21, 2020). "Daniel Dye Chasing ARCA Menards Series East Championship with Ben Kennedy Racing in 2021". TobyChristie.com.
- "Brad Smith planning on returning for full season". ThePitLane. January 9, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
Veteran owner/driver Brad Smith plans on returning to the ARCA Menards Series full time this season. (...) Although Smith is planning to compete full time, the team needs sponsorship.
- "Bret Holmes Racing Expands Program For 2021 Season". ARCARacing.com. Bret Holmes Racing. January 14, 2021.
- Glover, Luken (November 2, 2020). "Jack Wood Running ARCA Showdown, East With GMS Racing in 2021". Frontstretch. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
- "GMS Racing announces 2021 crew chief lineup". Jayski's Silly Season Site. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. January 8, 2020.
- Seelman, Jacob (May 1, 2021). "Conner Jones Making ARCA East Debut At Nashville". Speed Sport.
- Srigley, Joseph (June 7, 2021). "Daniel Dye Joining GMS Racing for Select ARCA Menards Series Events". TobyChristie.com.
- Koelle, Christian (June 18, 2021). "Morgan Alexander Making Transition from Dirt Racing to Stock Cars; Talks Debut at Southern National". Kickin' the Tires. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
- "Nick Sanchez to run full ARCA schedule for Rev Racing". ThePitLane. January 8, 2020. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
19 year-old Nick Sanchez, who competed in the ARCA Menards East Series last year, will run the full ARCA Menards Series national schedule this season for Rev Racing.
- Glover, Luken (May 10, 2021). "Connor Mosack Joins Young's Motorsports for Limited ARCA Schedule". Frontstretch.
- "David Gilliland and Johnny Gray form David Gilliland Racing". Jayski's Silly Season Site. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. January 5, 2020.
- Srigley, Joseph (January 18, 2021). "Willie Mullins, Mullins Racing Entering Daytona with A Chance to Make Noise". TobyChristie.com. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
- "Davey Callihan To Drive For Mullins Racing At Southern National". ARCARacing.com. Mullins Racing. May 12, 2021. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
- "(Twitter post)". Twitter. Stephanie Moyer. March 9, 2021. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
I can't wait to get back behind the wheel in my Fast Track Racing #12 Toyota on May 8th at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway!
- "Ty Gibbs, Sammy Smith to race as teammates at Iowa Speedway". ARCARacing.com. July 5, 2021.
- Koelle, Christian (March 9, 2021). "Justin Carroll to Make ARCA Return at Kansas, Attempt Truck Series Debut at Some Point in 2021". Kickin' the Tires. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
- "Drew Dollar Inks New Deal With Venturini Motorsports, Announces Limited 2021 ARCA Schedule". ARCARacing.com. Venturini Motorsports. January 12, 2021.
- Srigley, Joseph (January 11, 2021). "Corey Heim Running for ARCA Menards Series Championship with Venturini Motorsports". TobyChristie.com.
- Srigley, Joseph (January 29, 2021). "Jesse Love Joining Venturini Motorsports for 10-Race ARCA Schedule in 2021". TobyChristie.com.
- Srigley, Joseph (January 4, 2020). "Gracie Trotter Moving to Venturini Motorsports for Limited ARCA Menards Series Schedule". TobyChristie.com.
- Hopkins, Dalton (May 4, 2021). "Parker Chase Competing Part Time for Venturini in ARCA". Frontstretch.
- "Eric Caudell, CCM Racing Prepare For Talladega, Remainder Of 2021 Season". ARCARacing.com. April 20, 2021. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
- Srigley, Joseph (January 22, 2021). "Alex Clubb and Tim Richmond Form Richmond Clubb Motorsports". TobyChristie.com. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
- Srigley, Joseph (November 18, 2020). "Lira Motorsports Making ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Truck Series Return in 2021 with Logan Misuraca". TobyChristie.com. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
- Sinclair, Adam (April 10, 2021). "Logan Misuraca: "I'm still here and fighting"". Speedway Digest. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
- "Adam Lemke joins Rette Jones Racing for select races". ARCARacing.com. May 14, 2021.
- Kristl, Mark (January 15, 2021). "Nick Sanchez to Drive ARCA Full Time for Rev Racing in 2021". Frontstretch. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
- "Rajah Caruth, Nick Sanchez To Compete In ARCA As Part Of NASCAR Drive For Diversity Class". ARCARacing.com. February 3, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
- "Taylor Gray involved in street accident; in stable condition: UPDATE". Jayski's Silly Season Site. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. April 8, 2021. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
- "Kyle Busch Motorsports announces crew chief lineup for 2021". Jayski's Silly Season Site. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
- Haislop, Tadd (November 18, 2020). "ARCA Menards To Take 2021 Green Flag In Sunshine State". ARCARacing.com. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
- "ARCA Menards Series East To Open NASCAR's Tripleheader Weekend At Dover". ARCARacing.com. December 1, 2020.
- "ARCA Menards Series East 2021 Schedule Announced". ARCARacing.com. December 18, 2020.
- "ARCA Menards Series Changes Points System". Motor Racing Network. January 24, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2021.