Sawalich Clinches Victory in Abbreviated ARCA Contest at Phoenix Raceway

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William Sawalich wins rain-shortened ARCA race at Phoenix

The Phoenix Raceway witnessed an electrifying showdown on Friday night, where two young talents, both aged 17, stole the limelight by dominating the race.

These rising stars, the sole leaders throughout the event, showcased remarkable prowess. However, it was Sawalich who ultimately surged ahead to claim a commanding lead post the halfway mark.

On lap 113 of the scheduled 150-lap race, NASCAR had to intervene due to lightning strikes detected within an 8-mile radius of the track. Consequently, the race came to a halt after 115 laps, and NASCAR declared it official at around 10:05 p.m. ET.

This decision sealed Sawalich’s triumph over Ruggiero. Sawalich led thrice for a total of 66 laps, while Ruggiero commanded the track for the remaining 49 laps.

Sawalich (Credits: ARCA)

This victory marks Sawalich’s fifth triumph in the ARCA national series, further solidifying his status as a force to be reckoned with. Having clinched the ARCA East championship for Joe Gibbs Racing last season, Sawalich expressed mixed emotions about the win.

“For sure not the way I wanted to win the race, but I knew we had the best car out there. Our (car) was really good all night,” Sawalich remarked. He commended his team’s efforts in making crucial adjustments during the race, attributing the win to their collective excellence. “We just ran a good race, and I knew we definitely had a chance to win it, and I’m really proud of that,” Sawalich added.

In the aftermath of the race, Grant Enfinger secured the third position, followed by Connor Mosack in fourth and Sean Hingorani in fifth. Isabella Robusto, making her maiden series start, impressed by finishing in the top 10 alongside Jack Wood, Andres Perez, Toni Breidinger, and Lavar Scott.

Reflecting on her performance, Robusto expressed a mix of satisfaction and a thirst for improvement. “It’s unreal. I wish we had one last caution there or the race lasted 15 laps longer. The car was definitely way better on the long runs, and we saw that in the first half,”

Robusto said. She acknowledged the areas she intends to focus on for enhancement, particularly emphasizing the nuances of restarts and understanding aerodynamics.

As the dust settled at Phoenix Raceway, the night bore witness to a compelling display of talent and resilience, setting the stage for future showdowns and triumphs on the track.


By Annie Linardos

I'm a journalist student and completed my masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. With a strong track record as an intern at Mathrubhumi News and The New Indian Express as a reporter and content writer, I'm creative, motivated, and have a keen eye for the truth and attempting to use the expertise and talents to contribute to the emerging field of journalism. I have also been working as a freelance writer and have the capability of producing interesting and bold articles.

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