(RACE RECAP) June 24, 2023 ARCA Menards Series

Race Recap
June 24, 2023 – Elko, MN

By Jason D Searcy

Soaking Rains delayed activities at Elko Speedway but did not dampen the enthusiasm for the Menards 250 ARCA Menards series event presented by Starkey Hearing on Saturday night. Rain canceled traditional General Tire pole qualifying, so the 19 car ARCA field was set by practice speeds putting the 16 year old Eden Prairie Minnesota driver #18 William Sawalich driving for Joe Gibbs racing on the pole for the 250 lap race. Point leader #20 Jesse Love from Redwood City (CA) took the lead from the start and led a majority of the race, 233 laps. William Sawalich was his main rival, racing just behind and sometimes side by side with Love and they both maneuvered through slower lapped traffic. Sawalich passed Love for the lead just before the mandatory break at half-way as the two teenagers crossed each other over fighting for the top spot. Sawalich regained the lead for 16 more laps beginning at lap 134 but on a restart he was forced up the track by Love and then tapped by #15 Sean Hingorani caused him to spin and to be relegated to 8th position, the last car on the lead lap. The last 100 laps of the race saw Sawalich race through the field, picking cars off one by one but the last 40 laps were cautionless and Sawalich ran out of time, he came up just short of victory with an adoring hometown crowd cheering him on. Jesse Love was able to hold on to the top spot by just 0.998 seconds at the finish line. Love had finished runner-up in this race the previous two years, he was finally able to finish one position better in 2023, it is his fourth win of the season in the ARCA Menards series. Sawalich was second, Hingorani third, #25 Conner Jones fourth and #2 Andres Perez fifth. Davey Calihan #01 finished 6th, #45 Tony Cosentino 7th, #10 Willie Mullins 8th, #55 Toni Breidinger 9th and #32 Christian Rose driving a car owned by 3-time ASA Champ Kevin Cywinski 10th.

Get the official race report HERE

Because of the rain, the Elko Speedway NASCAR divisions ended up racing after the conclusion of the ARCA event.

The NASCAR sanctioned Late Models raced a 30 lap event, #18 Michael Ostdiek led some laps early in the race and #52 Chad Walen from Prior Lake (MN) pressured him at every turn. During a mid-race restart Walen adjusted his brake balance inside the car and was able to pass Ostdiek for the lead with 10 laps remaining in the race. Walen was then able to hold back a strong challenge by 9-time ELKO Champion #72 Jacob Goede and won by just 0.115 seconds at the finish line. It was the first win of the season for Walen, he also won on ARCA night in 2022. Goede finished second, Ostdiek third, #8 Billy Mohn fourth and #10 Dusty Mann fifth of the 16 cars entered. Qualifying was rained out. Jacob Goede now has a 12 point lead over #19 Jake Ryan in the early season race for the 2023 ELKO Late Model Championship.

The NASCAR sanctioned Thunder Cars raced a 20 lap main event late on Saturday night after the ARCA Menards 250. #88 Jason Novak and #8 Taylor Goldman from Minnetonka (MN) started out on the front row. Those two drivers raced side by side the majority of the race, Taylor Goldman led most of the laps from the high side but never was able to pull up past Novak enough to be able to clear him. With just two laps remaining in this cautionless race Novak nosed out in front, Goldman snatched the lead back on the last lap, Goldman won the drag race down the front stretch and won by just 0.155 seconds at the finish line, some contact then occurred and her car was flung up into the wall between corners one and two. The car sustained damage and was not able to drive the traditional victory lap celebration, so the tow truck hooked up the Goldman vehicle and she did the victory lap with a checkered flag while her car was being towed, delighting the crowd. After three years of trying, it was the first career Thunder Car win for the 2018 ELKO Power Stock Champion. Novak finished second, #99 Brent Kane third, #29 Tommy Sorem fourth and #07 Dillon Sellner fifth, the top 5 cars all finished within 0.353 of the leader.

Brent Kane now has a 5 point lead over Dillon Sellner in the race for the 2023 Thunder Car Championship.

The NASCAR sanctioned Power Stocks raced a 25 lap feature event just after the ARCA Menards 250 at Elko Speedway.

The early portions of the race were marred by a couple caution periods and for a short time #14 Clayton Dorner and his grandfather #56 Paul Hamilton raced each other side by side for the lead. Jimmie Jorgenson #3 then took over the top spot until he was caught up in lapped traffic and lost the lead to #10 Dusty Mann who was racing side by side with #57 Jesse Fischer from Eagan (MN). Fischer finally did grab the top spot with 6 laps remaining and drove away from the field the last few laps to win by 2.128 seconds, it was the first win of the season for Fischer. Dusty Mann finished second, #08 Mike Stoer third, #83 Julie Jorgenson fourth and Jimmie Jorgenson was fifth of the 13 cars competing.

Julie Jorgenson and Dusty Mann are now tied for the early season point lead in the Power Stock division.

Complete unofficial results can be found HERE and unofficial point standings can be found HERE

Coming up next at Elko Speedway is an Eve of Destruction on Saturday July 1st with FIREWORKS, MAW wrestling, Racing in all 5 divisions, School bus racing, Spectator drags, the Drifters, ATV Big Air Show, petting zoo, Winrich whips and much more.

Get tickets and more information at ElkoSpeedway.com


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