From Adam Fenwick | www.arcaracing.com
FLAT ROCK, Mich. – For most of Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series East Dutch Boy 150 at Flat Rock Speedway, William Sawalich seemed uncharacteristically slow.
It turned out that was all just part of the plan.
Sawalich carefully saved his tires during the first half of the Dutch Boy 150 before taking the lead from polesitter Sean Hingorani and cruising to his second victory of the 2023 season.
“I think I saved my tires perfectly and kind of hoped for a restart there and that happened,” Sawalich said. “I’m really proud of this team. We had a really fast Soundgear Toyota Camry. I can’t thank this team enough for this opportunity.”
Hingorani dominated the first two thirds of the Dutch Boy 150 after starting from the pole, but it wasn’t long after a restart on Lap 98 when things started to change.
Sawalich, who ran as low as fourth early in the race, was suddenly right behind Hingorani and challenging him for the race lead. With 48 laps left Sawalich gave Hingorani a shot to the rear bumper going into Turn 1, which moved Hingorani up the track and allowed Sawalich to take the lead.
Hingorani tried to return the favor going into Turn 3 and was able to get back underneath Sawalich, but he was unable to complete the pass and Sawalich held on to the lead.
“I kind of got into the 15 (Hingorani) there,” Sawalich said. “I thought I was inside of him so I kept my nose in. I thought it was pretty fair.”
Hingorani, on the other hand, wasn’t a big fan of how Sawalich raced him.
“I don’t think the 18 (Sawalich) races clean, but it was a good race,” Hingorani said. “I think we’ll get better next time.”
Lavar Scott made a late charge and slipped past Hingorani with 13 laps left to finish a career-best second for Rev Racing. Hingorani faded to third ahead of Billy Venturini, who finished fourth in a one-off return to the ARCA platform after not driving a race car for 17 years.
“It was fun, I got to race some real good race car drivers tonight,” said Venturini. “I got to pass some too, that was fun.”
Luke Fenhaus was fifth ahead of Zachary Tinkle, Tim Monroe, Will Kimmel, Jeffery MacZink and Derrick McGrew Jr.
Saturday’s race was the first ARCA platform event at Flat Rock Speedway since 2000 and the first event at the track for the ARCA Menards Series East.
A replay of the Dutch Boy 150 will air on May 27 at 11 a.m. ET on CNBC.
The ARCA Menards Series returns to action with the running of the General Tire 150 next Friday, May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race will be shown live on FS1 at 6 p.m. ET.
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Photo's: ARCA | Nic Antaya