It had been since 2000 that an ARCA Touring Series last competed at Flat Rock Speedway, when Frank Kimmel found Victory Lane. This last Saturday marked the return as the ARCA Menard’s Series East invaded the quarter mile “Level Pebble”
Billy Venturini filed an entry for his first race, since he last competed in 2007 in an ARCA Series event at Talladega. Billy is NOT coming out of retirement, but Flat Rock was a track he never had the opportunity to race at and he couldn’t resist adding it to his resume. His dad, Bill was a three time winner there, and Billy did the family proud with a 4th place finish.
Scoring the win in the Gibb’s Racing #18 was 16 year old Eden Prairie, Minnesota racer William Sawalich, who has been pretty impressive this season driving in ARCA, NASCAR Trucks, and Trans Am. Local race fans may remember him from winning at Toledo Speedway in the ARCA/CRA portion of the Glass City 200 last September. Sawalich bided his time in fourth place in the first half while saving his tires before a charge into the lead following a restart. He traded paint a couple times with early leader Sean Hingorani before grabbing the lead and pulling away in the closing laps.
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Chris Benson #51 was oh so close the prior week in a heartbreaker, but made up for it with a dominating performance at Flat Rock in a all green 50 lap Moran Chevrolet ARCA Outlaw Late Model feature on the 2nd week of competition at the quarter mile. It was Benson’s first visit to the Monroe Asphalt Winner’s Circle since 2008 with a popular victory.
Ken Schrader followed up his School Bus F8 win the night before by driving the Rob Moore #82 Street Stock to a top 10 finish in Flat Rock Speedway’s most competitive division.
Lance Lipasek #99 took the win in the 25 lap DTS ARCA Street Stock “A” feature with a hard charging Greg Studt glued to his rear bumper, while Ian Jezylo #00 won the 15 lap Street Stock “B” feature.
Defending R&M Recycling ARCA Figure 8 champion Dennis Whisman Jr. #2 earned a hard fought win over Greg Studt in their 20 lap feature race.
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Flat Rock Speedway opened for their 71st year of racing with all three of the regular divisions competing on the quarter mile “Level Pebble”
Winners were Justin Claucherty #7 of Clark Lake, Mi who scored his first win at Flat Rock in the Moran Chevrolet ARCA Outlaw Late Models. It was a fantastic race with Justin, Chris Benson #51, Connor Zbozien #45, Eric Lee #5 all battling for the win and swapping positions the entire 50 laps. Benson nearly pulled off the win, but was passed by Claucherty in traffic coming to the white flag.
Justin has competed at Flat Rock for several years in the long distance Joy Fair Memorial 100 and Stan Yee Memorial 150, however this was the first time he found himself in the Monroe Asphalt Winner’s Circle.
Feature winners of the evening were
- Justin Claucherty #7 in Moran Chevrolet ARCA Outlaw Late Models
- Jeremy Vanderhoof #4 in the Drive Train Specialists ARCA Street Stock “A” division
- Troy Brehmer #42 in the DTS ARCA Street Stock “B” division
- Greg Studt #33 in the R & M Recycling ARCA Figure 8 division
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Flat Rock Speedway opened it’s 71st season with a pair of open practice days. The festivities were shortened by rain on the 1st Practice weekend, but the drivers still got to hit the track for the first time in 2023. The last weekend was much drier, and 40 cars showed up in preparation for Opening Day on May 6.
Always great to see all the hard work that everyone put in during the off season as well as some of the more familiar cars that have changed hands and numbers.
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