Throughout the entire ARCA Menards Series East race at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday, Luke Fenhaus only led two laps, and those were the laps that mattered the most.
In what looked like was going to be an easy victory for William Sawalich, a caution came out on the final lap after a spin by Rita Goulet, forcing the field to go into a one-lap shootout for the win. On the final restart, Fenhaus would surge ahead of Sawalich, and survived a bump-and-run attempt to score his first career ARCA East Series win in only his third career start. This was also the first win for Shane Huffman‘s Pinnacle Racing Group, also in their third start.
“What a race car,” stated Fenhaus. “We struggled early on, and I wasn’t sure what we were going to do with the green-white-checkered. I knew the 15 was close to me. I just wasn’t sure how the green-white-checkered was going to play out. I had one job, to hold him on the bottom off 2, and I knew I’d get him.”
Sawalich was the star of the show, earning the quickest time in practice, winning the pole, and leading 199 of the scheduled 200 laps. Sawalich spun his tires on the final restart, causing Fenhaus to take advantage and move to the lead.
“I knew we had the fastest car. It was just a matter of executing,” stated Sawalich. “I think he jumped the start a little bit, but stuff happens like that. I got a shot in the rear and spun my tires. Unfortunately we ended up losing, but we definitely had the fastest car here.”
Sean Hingorani, who led one lap after holding off Sawalich on an earlier restart, would come home in third place. Gio Ruggiero, Hingorani’s teammate who made his ARCA debut with Venturini, came home in fourth, with Jake Finch finishing out the top five. Lavar Scott, Zachary Tinkle, Tanner Arms, Tim Monroe, and Dale Shearer would round out the top ten.
After the third race of the season, the points battle begins to heat up. The top three and only separated by seven points, as Sawalich leads with Fenhaus five points behind, and Finch seven points behind.
The next ARCA Menards Series East race will take place at the historic return of Flat Rock Speedway on 20 May.
2023 Music City 200 Race Results
|1||4||28||Luke Fenhaus||Pinnacle Racing Group||Chevrolet||205||2||Running|
|2||1||18||William Sawalich||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||205||202||Running|
|3||3||15||Sean Hingorani||Venturini Motorsports||Toyota||205||1||Running|
|4||2||20||Gio Ruggiero||Venturini Motorsports||Toyota||205||0||Running|
|5||14||1||Jake Finch||Phoenix Racing||Toyota||205||0||Running|
|6||5||6||Lavar Scott||Rev Racing||Chevrolet||205||0||Running|
|7||7||11||Zachary Tinkle||Fast Track Racing||Toyota||203||0||Running|
|8||6||95||Tanner Arms||MAN Motorsports||Toyota||196||0||Running|
|9||8||10||Tim Monroe||Fast Track Racing||Ford||192||0||Running|
|10||12||98||Dale Shearer||Shearer Speed Racing||Toyota||176||0||Running|
|11||11||31||Rita Goulet||Rise Motorsports||Chevrolet||146||0||Accident|
|12||13||48||Brad Smith||Brad Smith Motorsports||Chevrolet||87||0||Mechanical|
|13||9||12||Stephanie Moyer||Fast Track Racing||Chevrolet||20||0||Mechanical|
|14||10||01||Brayton Laster||Fast Track Racing||Toyota||18||0||Fuel Pressure|
|15||15||06||Nate Moeller||Peterson Motorsports||Toyota||10||0||Brakes|