Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Sawalich Finds Victory Lane, Venturini Takes The Title In Toledo

Jesse Love William Sawalich Toledo Speedway ARCA Menards
Both William Sawalich and Jesse Love had reasons to celebrate in Toledo for the ARCA Menards Series. PC: FOX Sports Broadcast

All season across the ARCA Menards Series, it’s felt like we’ve focused on two drivers, and the 2023 season finale at Toledo was no different as both William Sawalich and Jeese Love took home hardware after the Shore Lunch 200 at Toledo.

It was a back-and-forth battle between the No. 18 and No. 20 all race long, with both swapping the point throughout the event, but it was the Eden Prarie, MN native who took home his fourth ARCA Menards Series win in the 2023 season.

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“I was calm, cool, and collected. I think that’s the best thing I could have done in that situation. We navigated that pretty well, and the racecar was on rails,” Sawalich said post-race.

“Really good teamwork, really good execution all year,” he added.

While he and the Joe Gibbs Racing team cheered another trophy, just down the front stretch was another party, as Jesse Love and his No. 20 from Venturini Motorsports team celebrated the 2023 ARCA Menards Series owners title. The team’s first since 2019, doubling down with the driver’s championship with Love.

“It means a lot… I was a lot different of a person from when I first got the Venturini than I am now. He (Billy Venturini) sat me down and said, ‘You’re gonna be a lot different than when you got here,’ and I’m just grateful to be a part of it,” the champ said in victory lane. It was emotionally charged for both he and team owner Bill Venturini.

“I hate it because he’s leaving. He’s part of the family. Like I told him, don’t ever think you’re not part of it,” Bill said about his driver.

Love’s teammate Sean Hingorani, Rev Racing’s Anders Perez de Lara, and AM Racing’s Christian Rose rounded out the top five behind the two champions.

It wasn’t all the best for all the VMS cars. Contact with 55 laps to go, between Dylan ‘Mamba’ Smith in the VMS No. 15 and the No. 73 of Andy Jankowiak sent both into a slide into the outside wall. Moments after coming to a stop, Jon Garrett in the No. 66 couldn’t react in time and slammed into the right rear of the 15.

While Smith and Jankowiak continued and finished ninth and seventh respectfully, Garrett’s top-ten run would end early with a 15th-place finish.

Toledo featured some stellar runs for a few drivers to cap off their seasons. Making his ARCA debut, Mason Ludwig came home in sixth. Frankie Muniz was able to help right the ship finally and came home in eighth. Also, it was a career day for Stephanie Moyer, who got her first career top ten.

Race Results:

PosNoDriverLapsDiffStatusPoints
118William Sawalich200Running48
220Jesse Love2001.161Running44
325Sean Hingorani20011.793Running41
42Andres Perez20017.327Running40
532Christian Rose1991 lapsRunning39
663Mason Ludwig1982 lapsRunning38
773Andy Jankowiak1973 lapsRunning37
830Frankie Muniz1964 lapsRunning36
915Dylan Smith1955 lapsRunning35
1012Stephanie Moyer18713 lapsRunning34
1103Alex Clubb18317 lapsRunning33
1211Darrell Basham18020 lapsRunning32
1306Nate Moeller17723 lapsRunning31
1431Rita Goulet15347 lapsMechanical30
1566Jon Garrett14159 lapsAccident29
1648Brad Smith45155 lapsMechanical28
1769Mike Basham11189 lapsMechanical27
1810Tim Monroe5195 lapsMechanical26

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