Defending ARCA Menards Series East champion William Sawalich led the way in the second and final day of activity at the annual ARCA Menards Series Pre-Race Practice at Daytona International Speedway. Sawalich, in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, timed in at 49.318 seconds/182.489 miles per hour, just 0.014 seconds quicker than NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ace Patrick Emerling, who timed in at 49.332 seconds/182.437 miles per hour in his No. 53 Emerling/Gase Motorsports Ford.
Andres Perez, who will compete in all 20 ARCA Menards Series races in 2024, was third in the No. 2 Rev Racing Chevrolet at 49.357 seconds/182.375 miles per hour. Anthony Bello, in the No. 02 Youngs Motorsports Chevy, and Tanner Gray, in a second Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, rounded out the top five.
Veteran Dale Quarterley was sixth, inaugural Chicago Street Race winner Shane Van Gisbergen was seventh, Mandy Chick was eighth, Thomas Annunziata was ninth, and Jeff Scofield rounded out the top ten.
Saturday’s on-track activity was slowed twice for incidents.
The first involved Bounty Rookie Challenge driver Isaac Johnson and his teammate Greg Van Alst. Johnson struck a piece of debris, doing significant damage to the nose and oil lines of his No. 34 Ford. Defending race winner Van Alst was in a tight draft with Johnson, and the debris also struck his car. The resulting delay lasted nearly 30 minutes as Johnson’s car dropped a significant amount of oil on the track surface, necessitating a lengthy clean-up.
Shortly after going back under green, Scofield cut a tire exiting turn four and spun in a tight pack of cars. Andrew Patterson, driving the No. 73 KLAS Motorsports Ford, spun trying to avoid and the two cars made contact as they slid towards the inside wall. Scofield’s car had significant damage to the left side, while Patterson’s car suffered damage to the nose and right front fender. Both drivers were evaluated and released from the infield care center.
The ARCA Menards Series will return to Daytona International Speedway to officially kick off the 2024 season with the 61st annual Daytona ARCA 200. Practice is set for Thursday, February 15, General Tire Pole Qualifying will follow on Friday, February 16, and the 80-lap/200-mile race is set for 1:30 pm ET on Saturday, February 17.
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