Connor Zilisch Scores General Tire 150 Win at Dover

The ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East joined forces Friday in a combination event at Dover Motor Speedway. The General Tire 150 at the one-mile concrete oval known as the “Monster Mile” featured 24 entries.

William Sawalich paced practice Friday posting a lap of 22.411 seconds / 160.635 mph. Brent Crews, Giovanni Ruggiero, Andres Perez, and Lavar Scott rounded out the session top five.

Sawalich, piloting the No. 18 Starkey / Sound Gear Toyota, later won the pole for the event. The top five starters included Crews, Ruggiero, Carson Kvapil, and Scott. Rita Goulet battling an engine issue did not post a time in either practice or qualifying.

Everyone had eyes on three entries entering Dover: Sawalich, Ruggiero, and Kvapil as a threat for the win. Will either one of these drivers conquer the Monster and win?

Sawalich quickly cleared Crews for the lead at the drop of the green flag to command the top spot. The Driver of the No. 18 Toyota led the opening 16 circuits before Ruggiero took the top spot at lap 17. Ruggiero led through a caution period before the yellow for the first scheduled break at or near lap 50.

After the five-minute break was completed and the field returned to green flag racing, Sawalich reclaimed the lead.

Caution flew not long after at lap 62 for the No. 31 of Tim Goulet, again bunching up the field for a restart with Sawalich and Ruggerio upfront seven laps later.

Ruggiero overtook Sawalich for the lead on the restart, however, officials found that Ruggiero had jumped the restart and had to serve a pass-through penalty. Luckily for the No. 20 camp, the caution flew for Amber Balcaen and Christan Rose a few laps later at lap 75. This negated the pass-through penalty for Ruggiero, instead, turning into a tail of the longest line penalty.

Bacaen sat on a stretcher after getting out of her damaged car. She later told the FOX Sports 2 broadcast that she was “okay”, but would have to get her tapped-up ankle looked at further.

With Sawalich leading, the field went back green at lap 79.

Sawalich led the way through the next break with another caution and restart at laps 92 and 97. ARCA officials decided the second five-minute race break would occur at lap 105.

The yellow flag again appeared at lap 102 for Carson Kvapil, thus serving as the second break. The top five included Sawalich, Connor Zilisch, Ruggiero, Scott, and Andres Perez.

The field went back green with Sawalich as the leader.

Zilisch grabbed the lead from Sawalich, with Sawalich hitting the outside wall on lap 108, bringing out the caution. The No. 18 Toyota DNF’d with a 17th-place finish.

The No. 28 Chevrolet driven by Zilisch kept the lead through another caution and restart to score the victory in a wild and chaotic event. The driver from Mooresville, North Carolina, scored his first career ARCA win and second top-five finish.

Ruggiero finished runner-up despite leading 41 circuits of the race. Kvapil, Scott, and Perez took home top-five finishes.

Kris Wright, Andy Jankowiak, Greg Van Last, Caleb Costner, and Zachary Tinkle finished with top 10s.

The ARCA Menards Series heads next to Kansas Speedway on May 4th with coverage on FOX Sports 1 and MRN Radio. As for the ARCA Menards Series East, they will head next to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway May 11th with coverage on FloRacing.

Brett Winningham
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