Written by Christian Cowell, Workers Author
With Sammy Smith promoted to the NASCAR Xfinity Sequence in 2023, hypothesis is within the air for Joe Gibbs Racing’s ARCA Menards Sequence program. The group has teamed up with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2022 ensuing within the ARCA Menards Sequence East and Sioux Chief Showdown Sequence championships with Smith. Now that the Kyle Busch Motorsports Truck Sequence program has moved to Chevrolet in 2023, hypothesis is that the Joe Gibbs ARCA program can be shutting down.
On December 9, 2022, hypothesis was halted as Joe Gibbs Racing signed 16-year-old William Swalic to a multi-year contract. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota native will run a complete of 20 races inside ARCA beginning with the ARCA Menards Sequence / ARCA Menards Sequence West race at Phoenix Raceway on March 10, 2023.
“I believe this can be a nice alternative for my racing profession and I do know it should problem me a bit however I am able to tackle the problem,” mentioned Sawalish. The #18 Toyota Camry has seen good success the previous few years and I hope I can proceed that success this season. I am grateful to have the assist of Starkey, Toyota and JGR this season and hope we will be up entrance quite a bit.
“I am nonetheless finalizing some plans, however I’ve plans to run the Slinger Nationals, doubtlessly the Winchester 400 and the All-American 400. The 20 ARCA races are going to be actually enjoyable and I sit up for getting right down to enterprise with the group.”
As famous above, Sawalich will make his ARCA debut in Phoenix in March. He has run Tremendous and Professional Late Fashions in his profession, together with begins within the CARS Professional Late Mannequin Tour and the CARS Late Mannequin Tour to make his 2021 debut at Tri-County Motor Speedway the place he completed seventeenth after beginning on pole. . Sawalich earned his first CARS Professional Late Mannequin Tour win at Hickory Motor Speedway. He additionally has wins underneath his belt at South Boston Speedway, Winchester Speedway, Toledo Speedway and 5 Flags Speedway. A lot of his profitable tracks occur to be on the ARCA Menards Sequence schedule as properly, be it the Jap or Nationwide Sequence.
“The ARCA can be heavier than my very late fashions and there may be little distinction in energy, however aside from that they’re very comparable,” mentioned Swalich. “I believe having laps on the observe is unquestionably useful, however I’m actually utilizing this 12 months as a studying 12 months within the automotive whereas I’m nonetheless going out and attempting to win races.”
My final aim is to be the primary driver from Minnesota to win the highest three ranges of NASCAR,” added Swalich. “This 12 months, I am positively going to try to get the East Championship in addition to as many wins as I can get. Like I mentioned, I will study quite a bit this 12 months with a brand new group, a brand new automotive and new tracks however I believe we are able to have a very good 12 months.”
Since returning to the ARCA Menards collection in 2017, Joe Gibbs Racing has turn out to be an enormous menace. It was the start line for NASCAR’s prime three collection for drivers equivalent to Riley Herbst, Ty Gibbs, Todd Gilliland, and Sammy Smith. Gibbs captured the championship trophy for JGR in 2021, the group’s solely championship trophy up to now. Sawalich is wanting so as to add to the small legacy that Gibbs has had at ARCA so far.
“I do not really feel like there may be any stress,” Sawalish mentioned. I am simply going to take all of it as a studying expertise. The very first thing that got here to my thoughts was, “Wow, this can be a nice alternative.” I have not spoken to Ty or the Cup drivers but, however I do know I’ll attain out for recommendation particularly as soon as the season begins selecting their minds and studying from them.”
It ought to be famous that Sawalich is not going to be competing within the upcoming annual ARCA Daytona Preseason Observe weekend as a result of he’s not sufficiently old. As for the Joe Gibbs Racing group, whether or not or not they’ll take part in testing stays to be decided.