2023 ARCA West at Phoenix II: Team Reactions, Analysis

By Vincent Delforge, Special to Kickin’ the Tires

The twelfth and final race of the 2023 ARCA Menards West Series season, the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 100 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, AZ, ended with William Sawalich’s first career victory. Unsurprisingly Sean Hingorani, by finishing third in the race, wins the 2023 championship, his first in his career. And it is also a first coronation for Steve McGowan and Bruce Cook at the owner standings thanks to the points accumulated by Landen Lewis and Kaden Honeycutt throughout the season.

This is the first time in history that the owners’ championship has been won by a team whose driver is not also crowned champion in the same year. MMI Racing (McGowan Motorsports with Cook Racing Technologies) sees its No. 17 finish first in the championship with 637 points ahead of Venturini Motorsports, 626 points, thanks to Sean Hingorani, the driver of the No. 15. Hingorani who also wins the Rookie of the Year award.

The top-five in the championship being the following: Sean Hingorani (626 points), Tyler Reif (590), Trevor Huddleston (578), Bradley Erickson (572) and Tanner Reif (567).

For a complete recap of the race, I invite you to read the article « Race review » available here: www.kickinthetires.net/nascar/arca-menards-west-2023-phoenix-ii-review/

Complete race results: www.racing-reference.info/race-results/2023-12/AW/          

Driver & owner point standings: www.racing-reference.info/standings/2023/AW/ 

As after each race we are going to detail the statistics for each driver, embellished with the reactions collected from many of them, drivers, owners and crew chiefs. 

ARCA West Quick stats              

-70th season in history.   

-Race No. 1016 since the inception of the West Series in 1954.              

-2023 race No. 12 of 12. 

-Race No. 52 at Phoenix Raceway since 1977.

– Win No. 11 for Toyota at Phoenix. Chevrolet leads the dance with 16 wins ahead of Ford (14), Toyota (11), Pontiac (6), Dodge (3) and Buick (2).

-80th win for Toyota in West Series. The all-time most successful manufacturer is Ford with 290 wins.

-First win for owner Joe Gibbs.    

-Win No. 5 for Joe Gibbs Racing team (Coy Gibbs 2 ; J.D. Gibbs 2 and Joe Gibbs 1). The all-time most successful owners in history are Bill McAnally (99), Fred Elder (45), Bob Bruncati (42) and Ernie Conn (41).  

-Fourth win for Joe Gibbs Racing at Phoenix. The most successful team is Bill McAnally Racing with five wins. Petty Enterprises and Gene Price Motorsports follows with three wins each.  

-First career win for William Sawalich (fourth career start) and first at Phoenix. Ken Schrader is the most successful driver at Phoenix with four wins. Richard Petty, Greg Pursley and Ty Gibbs follows with three. In all, 38 different drivers have won at least one race. 

-William Sawalich is the 209th race winner in history since 1954.

-William Sawalich is the 38th different race winner at Phoenix.

-15th time in 52 races the poleman wins at Phoenix.    

-Second career pole position for William Salawich (fourth career start) and second at Phoenix (in two starts at Phoenix). 

-Third pole for Joe Gibbs Racing at Phoenix. Gene Price Motorsports and Duncan Racing are the most successful teams with four.    

-Third pole for Joe Gibbs Racing in West Series. The most successful team in history is Bill McAnally Racing with 79 poles. The most successful owner in history is Bill McAnally with 52 poles.     

-First career start in West Series for Dylan Smith and Lavar Scott.

-Best career result in West Series for William Sawalich (1st), Toni Breidinger (11th), Justin Johnson (13th), Dylan Smith (15th), Lavar Scott (17th)

-15th win for the No. 18 in history. The third at Phoenix (all from the pole position).

-17th pole for the No. 18 in history. The third at Phoenix.

-Second career pole for crew chief Matt Ross. And second at Phoenix. 

-First career win for crew chief Matt Ross. 

-73rd pole for Toyota in West Series and ninth at Phoenix. The all-time most successful manufacturer is Chevrolet with 258.  

-The track record is owned by Ty Gibbs for Joe Gibbs Racing at 135.064 mph achieved in 2021.   

-Ricky Rudd won the race in 1995 from 29th position on the starting grid, which is a record.   

-As far as yellow flags are concerned, the record is 13 in 2023 (March race). The 2023 March race holds the record for the number of yellow flag laps with 78.  

-Note that from 1988 to 1996 the Phoenix race was combined with the NASCAR Cup Series.  

-The most leader changes occurred in 1993 with 20. The least leader change is zero, three times in 2012, 2014 and 2021 #2.

-The largest starting field was in 1996 and 1996 with 44 cars.

-The smallest starting field was in 2003 #2 with 22 cars.

-681st paved oval race in history.   

-Sean Hingorani is the 41st different champion in history. The all-time most successful champion is Ray Elder with six championships.

-Sean Hingorani is the fifth driver to win the ROTY title and the championship in the same year.

– Tyler Reif (2nd) and Tanner Reif (5th) are the second pair of brothers in history to finish in the top-five in the championship in the same year since 1996 with Jeff Krogh (2nd) and Mark Krogh (4th). But this is the first time that it is the youngest who finishes highest ranked. In both cases, it is the youngest who is the only one to have won a race that year.

The Drivers  

No. 02 Dylan Smith (Young’s Motorsports) Start: 17th – Fin: 15th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Mamba Smith. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

First complicated race in the West Series. Contact with the wall during the qualifying session, his team repairs the car for the race but Mamba will rub the wall again during the race. Ultimately this 15th position is a good result given the rough copy he returned to Phoenix. Something he was not accustomed to, he who had obtained two top10s during these only two other races in ARCA in 2022 and 2023.

Starts            Wins            Top5            Top10            Pole            Best result            At Phoenix  
1000015th1 start, best result 15th

No. 05 David Smith (Shockwave Racing) Start: 25th – Fin: 23rd

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
David Smith. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

The Canadian veteran ends his season with a car in good condition, enough to spend the start of the off-season with peace of mind. Curiously he was slower this time than during the race in March. The race having been slowed down less by the yellow flags, he lost six laps on the leaders. But his spun in the qualifying session is perhaps the cause of the drop in performance of his Toyota.

Starts              Wins              Top5              Top10              Pole              Best result              At Phoenix
16            0            0              1             0              10th             3 starts, best result 17th

No. 1 Jake Finch (Phoenix Racing) DNS

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Jake Finch. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Fast during practice with the 11th best time, Finch will hit the wall during the qualifying session. Mechanically irreparable, the team had to resolve to forfeit the next day’s race.

Starts         Wins         Top5         Top10         Pole         Best result         At Phoenix
200206th1 start, best result 9th

No. 2 Sebastian Arias (REV Racing) Start: 14th – Fin: 10th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Sebastian Arias. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Despite the few races he did this year, the Colombian managed his tires perfectly and was able to finish in the top-10. His first in four races at Phoenix. His smile upon arrival said it all. It’s a relief for him and it should be useful in his quest for a seat for 2024. Plans for the 2024 season, including whether Arias could return to REV Racing are still to be announced.

“Top 10 at Phoenix Raceway. The team worked really hard to make sure I had rocket for the race, and when it was time to deliver we delivered.” Airas said.

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Phoenix
10 (+1 DNS)0      0      3     0      8th (2x)      4 starts, best result: 11th   

No. 3 Todd Souza (Central Coast Racing) Start: 11th – Fin: 26th crash

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Todd Souza. (Photo by Diego Alvarado via Vincent Delforge)

For his last race as a full-time driver, Souza was battling in the top-10 with another veteran, Joanides, when unfortunately both drivers collided on the 64th lap in Turn 1. Both cars were destroyed but fortunately neither no pilots were injured. Souza, however, finished in sixth position in the championship. His seventh top-10 in the championship consecutively since 2017 and his eighth in his career including that of 2010. Todd Souza has therefore always finished in the top-10 in the championship in seasons where he rode full time.

Starts               Wins               Top5               Top10          Pole             Best result               At Phoenix
120              1               22               69              0               1st (1x)               15 starts, best result : 5th    

No. 4 Eric Nascimento (Nascimento-Joiner Motorsports) Start: 15th – Fin: 19th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Eric Nascimento. (Photo by Diego Alvarado via Vincent Delforge)

What a pitty for Bubba. He had a very good pace and was able to gain a few positions to fight for the top-10. On the 21st lap he clashed with Tanner Reif on Turn 1. Front left tire flat for Nascimento who lost time to return to the pitlane and repair and change tires. Unlike Reif, he will not be able to benefit from a free pass and will be condemned to finish his race anonymously.

Starts         Wins         Top5         Top10         Pole         Best result         At Phoenix
20        0         5         9        1         2nd (1x)         3 starts, best result: 14th   

No. 6 Lavar Scott (REV Racing) Start: 9th – Fin: 17th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Lavar Scott. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Big disappointment or return to reality for Scott in Phoenix? His debut in the West Series did not allow him to stand out like during his races in the East or in the ARCA national series where he almost every time obtained a top-10 or even a top-five. But the competition in the West Series is much greater because here it is not four or six cars that are fast but around fifteen. But it is also in difficult races that a driver further develops his abilities.

Starts               Wins               Top5      Top10         Pole       Best result               At Phoenix
1000017th1 start, best result 17th

No. 7 Takuma Koga (Jerry Pitts Racing) Start: 24th – Fin: 16th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Takuma Koga. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Clean race to close the 2023 season. He will be at best 15th during the race but will lose pace in the last 15 laps. Overtaken by the leaders on the 90th lap, he lost his 16th position with seven laps remaining against Dylan Smith. He is already giving us an appointment in 2024.

“2023 last race, 16th finished. Point standings 9th. Special thanks all fans, all sponsors, ARCA officials and Jerry Pitts Racing crew. See you next racing season!” Koga said

Starts               Wins               Top5      Top10         Pole       Best result               At Phoenix
113               0               4              24               0             5th (4x)               12 starts, best result : 15th  

No. 11 Robbie Kennealy (Kennealy Keller Motorsports) Start: 28th – Fin: 18th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Robbie Kennealy. (Photo by Ryan Hale via Vincent Delforge)

When you discover a new circuit during the first lap of the race, you must have the ability to adapt instantly. And that’s what rookie Kennealy was able to do. Brake problem during his only “half lap” in practice preventing him from learning the track and even doing the qualifying session, the KKM team insured and offered Robbie a reliable and efficient Ford for the race the next day.

Forced to cross the inside line of the dog leg before crossing the starting line during the fourth restart, like other drivers he received a pass through penalty. This made him lose a lap under the green flag and took him away from the top-15 which he had been able to reach after starting the race in last position.

 “What a dream to race at such a cool racetrack like Phoenix Raceway. Had an up and down weekend for the last race of 2023 but it doesn’t takeaway how cool of a place this is and how hard our team worker. We started off Thursday unfortunately with mechanical issues having us not able to practice or qualify. My entire team worked there butts off to get it fixed to race on Friday. My first lap on the track was lap 1 in the race.

We started 29th and was making our way inside the top 15 when avoiding a car in front on the restart caused us to get a penalty for going below the line. We ended up two laps down in the 18th position without a scratch on the car. Super proud of the KKM Driver Development team and how we grew as the races went on. I’m super excited to work hard in the off-season and prepare for the 2024 race season. Again a massive thank you to my whole crew for working super hard all year long.” Kennealy said.

Starts         Wins         Top5         Top10         Pole         Best result         At Phoenix
501205th1 start, best result 18th

No. 12 Ryan Roulette (Fast Track Racing) Start: 26th – Fin: 24th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Ryan Roulette. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

The friendly Ryan was unable to play the slightest role during the race. Blame it on an underperforming car. He is already one lap behind the leaders during the first yellow flag on the 15th lap. This first free pass will be followed by a second on the 45th lap. Then small mechanical problems will get involved, not to mention excessive tire wear. He will waste a lot of time in his pit box. Finally he finished the race in 24th position, 17 laps behind the winner.

Starts            Wins            Top5            Top10            Pole            Best result            At Phoenix  
3000022nd3 starts, best result 22nd

No. 13 Tyler Reif (Central Coast Racing) Start: 8th – Fin: 5th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Tyler Reif. (Photo by Diego Alvarado via Vincent Delforge)

Victorious in March, he was unable to repeat this performance in November. Qualified eighth, he entered the top-five on the 40th lap and would at best be in fourth position on the 75th lap. He was overtaken by Hingorani on the 77th lap and remained in this fifth position until the finish. He finished vice champion in 2023. A great result which heralds a promising 2024 season where he will aim for the championship.

“Good finish to the year Phoenix  brang it home P.5 with the CCR Toyota Camry! Huge thanks to everyone that made this year possible! Placed 2nd in the championship on my rookie year. Lots of ups and downs but that’s racing, ready for 2024.” Tyler Reif said.

Starts               Wins               Top5               Top10      Pole      Best result               At Phoenix
14   1     5     7     2     1st    3 starts, best result 1st  

No. 15 Sean Hingorani (Venturini Motorsports) Start: 2nd – Fin: 3th 

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Sean Hingorani. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Hingorani had such a lead that he did not need, or want, to play it safe. He wanted to finish the season on a high note and win his fifth victory. He will put a lot of pressure on Sawalich and will even take the lead of the race on the 26th lap. He will be taken back this first position by Sawalich during the following restart.

With Huddleston’s problems from the start of the race, he will even show a certain aggressiveness and will even make contact with Thompson just after halfway. Losing a few positions he will again be involved in a heated sequence between Wright, Erickson and himself. Having dropped back to 10th position, he then made a superb comeback to finish third. Hingorani is champion and it is well deserved after a superb 2023 season.

 “2023 NASCAR ARCA Menards Series West Champion! Thank you so much to the entire Venturini Motorsports team for an incredible championship season. It took an incredible amount of work to the West Coast this year and we got it done! Billy, Kevin, Monon, Owen, Tab, John, Jerry Pitts and all the crew in the shop and of course Bill Venturini, Cathy and Emily, I can’t thank you guys enough.

It takes a lot to win races and even more to win championships and nobody does it as well as VMS! Thank you to Fidelity Capital, Two Four Speed and all of my family and friends for their unwavering support. It means so much to me. We’re excited to see what 2024 has in store for us.” Hingorani said.

Starts               Wins               Top5               Top10               Pole         Best result               At Phoenix
17      4       7       8      2       1st (4x)       3 starts, best result 3rd  

No. 16 Tanner Reif (Bill McAnally Racing) Start: 6th – Fin: 8th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Tanner Reif. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

The new chassis brought by BMR seemed to meet all expectations. Tanner was fast but a collision with Eric Nascimento, Jr. on lap 21 would change everything. With a flat left rear tire, he wasted a lot of time getting his car back into shape in his pit box. Back down to 26th position, he benefited from the free pass on the 30th lap. He would then move up 18 positions to take the checkered flag in 8th position.

 “We had to battle back from some trouble early. We got a flat tire and spun, but managed to avoid major damage. The guys did a good job of getting everything fixed up and we had to drive back through the field. We had a good NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet, definitely a big improvement from what we had back in the spring. I wish we would have had a smoother race, but I’m proud to be part of the BMR team this year and these guys put so much effort in through the whole year.” Tanner Reif said.

Starts               Wins               Top5               Top10         Pole      Best result               At Phoenix
23              2               9               16              2             1st (2x)               4 starts, best result 8th   

No. 17 Kaden Honeycutt (McGowan Motorsports with Cook Racing Technologies) Start: 4th – Fin: 9th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Kaden Honeycutt. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Goal achieved. Honeycutt allows the team led by Steve McGowan and Bruce Cook to win the owner standings. A first for this team. Honeycutt had a very good car but a little slower than those of Sawalich, Thompson or Hingorani. He will have a big scare on the 44th lap when his left front tire punctures at the end of the backstretch as he arrives at full speed. He manages to miraculously avoid David Smith as well the wall. He will benefit from the free pass on the 67th lap and will then take advantage of the long last run under the green flag to move up to 9th position.

“Rough race but we got the job done and brought home the owners Championship for Bruce Cook Racing Technologies and MMI Racing (Steve McGowan)! I am thankful the opportunity to do this and be part of a great team. Two wins in four races is not too shabby. I hope to come back to the west series next year sometime. On to the truck tonight!” Honeycutt said.

Starts               Wins               Top5               Top10               Pole               Best result               At Phoenix
422401st (2x)1 start, best result 9th

No. 18 William Sawalich (Joe Gibbs Racing) Start: 1st – Fin: 1st

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
William Sawalich. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Sawalich almost made a perfect copy in Phoenix. Apart from a few laps conceded to Hingorani, he dominated the entire race from pole position. This first career victory in the West Series allows him to be the only driver to have won races in all three ARCA series in 2023. In the national series, in the East where he is also champion and finally in the West. However, although he led almost every lap of the race, he always had to watch his mirrors because Dean Thompson or Sean Hingorani were never far from him.

 “This was very special. We finished where we should have left off in the first race of the year [at Phoenix]. We capitalized on every opportunity and had a couple of good restarts. I worked on a few things myself and I think I’m ready for next year.” Sawalich said.

Starts            Wins            Top5            Top10            Pole            Best result            At Phoenix  
4   1st 2 starts, best result : 1st

No. 20 Dean Thompson (Venturini Motorsports) Start: 3rd – Fin: 2nd

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Dean Thompson. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Superb race from Dean Thompson who came back very strongly on the leader in the last laps of the race, slipping through the traffic much more easily than him. This second position shows that with a good car, Thompson is a driver capable of winning. This was the case in each of his ARCA races with Venturini this year. But it was much more complicated in the Craftsman Truck Series where he unfortunately did not have a sufficiently efficient truck.

Starts             Wins             Top5             Top10             Pole             Best result             At Phoenix
902322nd3 starts, best result 2nd

No. 21 Ethan Nascimento (Nascimento-Joiner Motorsports) Start: 22nd – Fin: 13th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Ethan Nascimento. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

A satisfactory race for rookie Ethan Nascimento who finished not far from the top10 after spending the entire race on the leader’s lap. 26th in March, 13th in November. If he keeps this same progression in Phoenix, he will be the winner next March.

Starts              Wins            Top5              Top10  Pole      Best result              At Phoenix
8 (+ 1 DNS)         0   0  2   0   8th   2 starts, best result : 13th 

No. 23 Bradley Erickson (Sigma Performance Services) Start: 10th – Fin: 7th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Bradley Erickson. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Great race from Erickson who finished seventh. With nine Top-10s this season in 12 races, he is the driver who has finished in the top-10 the most. Champion Hingorani has only eight for example. The rookie Erickson could even have done a 12 out of 12 if he had not experienced mechanical problems during the other three races while he was running in the top-10. With a new car from GMS Racing and an Ilmor engine, the Chevrolet No. 23 was fast, especially in the second part of the race. He is the only one with Tyler Reif to have finished both 2023 races in Phoenix in the top-10.

Starts             Wins             Top5             Top10             Pole             Best result             At Phoenix
160       3       11       0       3rd        3 starts, best result 3rd  

No. 25 Toni Breidinger (Venturini Motorsports) Start: 16th – Fin: 11th  

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Toni Breidinger. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Less fast than in March when she was in contention for a solid top-10 before an accident at the very end of the race, Breidinger had less pace this time. However, this 11th position is her best career result in West competition, as she has only ever driven in the West Series at Phoenix Raceway.

Starts            Wins            Top5            Top10            Pole            Best result            At Phoenix  
5  0  0  0  0  11th  5 starts, best result 11th 

No. 27 Bobby Hillis, Jr. (Fierce Creature Racing) Start: 27th – Fin: 28th mechanical

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Bobby Hillis Jr. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

The old chassis was back after almost two years in the back of the garage. But if it behaved better with the new suspensions, it would highlight a lack of adjustment in the chassis at the right front. As a result, it rubbed on the tire and would cause a puncture. Once at the pit box, the team noticed that the sway bar was broken and they had to retire.

“Pretty much the same problem we had in Vegas but different. Because of lowering the car with softer springs to get it on the ground we had a tire rub. Car was better and faster but ultimately it ended our day. Piece of metal that attaches to the frame and connects the body to the car was the problem. It’s down low behind the right front tire and it’s been that way since I got the car several years ago. Unfortunately with the car lower and wider than it’s ever been it was in the way enough to cut the inside of the right front sidewall.

Fortunately it happened in the middle of turn 1-2 instead of entry or I would’ve been in the fence! As it was I still almost crashed but I managed to slow down the car and keep it off the wall. Wasn’t able to dive down pit road though and had to go all the way around. By the time I got onto pit road the sway bar was grounded off and we were done for the day. Regroup and get ready for next year! » Hillis, Jr. said.

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Phoenix
96     0      0      8      0      8th (1x)      21 starts, best result : 11th 

No. 28 Jack Wood (Pinnacle Racing Group) Start: 5th – Fin: 4th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Jack Wood. (Photo by Diego Alvarado via Vincent Delforge)

First time in four races that Wood has had success in Phoenix. His best result so far was 11th position in 2019. This time with a reliable and efficient car, he was able to continually stay in the top-five. Third with 20 laps to go, he conceded a position to Hingorani on the 82nd lap and then resisted attacks from Tyler Reif until the finish.

Starts              Wins              Top5              Top10              Pole              Best result              At Phoenix
19041104th (3x)4 starts, best result 4th  

No. 38 RJ Smotherman (Wood Motorsports) Withdraw

Big disappointment for Smotherman and his team. Withdraw due to the fuel cell no longer being compliant (expiration date reached) and his team being unable to replace him in time.

Starts              Wins              Top5              Top10              Pole              Best result              At Phoenix
9      0           0           3           0           7th      2 starts, best result 26th  

No. 41 Johnny Borneman III (Lowden Jackson Motorsports) Start: 19th – Fin: 21st

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Johnny Borneman III. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Complicated race for Borneman III who made a mistake on the 29th lap in turn 2. The rear of the Ford having suffered from contact with the outside wall. Laps lost to repair will not be made up.

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Phoenix 
125      3      27      61      1      1st (3x)      23 starts, best result: 3rd   

No. 46 Justin Johnson (Lowden Jackson Motorsports) Start: 13th – Fin: 12th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Justin Johnson. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Unlike his teammate Borneman III, Johnson will have a quiet race where he will stay in his place throughout the race. Twelfth and in the leader’s lap for his return after 13 years of absence is a good result.

Starts            Wins            Top5            Top10            Pole            Best result            At Phoenix  
3000022nd2 starts, best result 12th

No. 50 Trevor Huddleston (High Point Racing) Start: 21st – Fin: 20th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Trevor Huddleston. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

His chances of winning the championship were tiny and they were quickly gone for good at the start of the weekend. His new Ford Mustang was never in the mix. A blatant lack of rhythm. No doubt frustrated by this lack of performance, Huddleston will make a rare mistake alone on the 14th lap in Turn 2. He benefited from the free pass during the following yellow flag but the rest of his race will not be much better. He finished in a distant 20th position and thus lost his second position in the championship. This season, however, has proven that Trevor has the ability to win the championship.

Starts           Wins           Top5           Top10           Pole           Best result           At Phoenix
65        3           24        53           2           1st (3x)         6 starts, best result : 7th    

No. 55 Kris Wright (Venturini Motorsports) Start: 12th – Fin: 22nd

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Kris Wright. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Wright was running a good race in the top-10 until halfway. He then experienced a drop in pace following contact with Hingorani shortly after the 55th lap. His car did not recover and he lost many positions to finish 22nd, four laps behind the winner.

Starts             Wins             Top5             Top10             Pole             Best result             At Phoenix
402202nd2 starts, best result 18th

No. 70  Kyle Keller (Kennealy Keller Motorsports) Start: 20th – Fin: 14th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Kyle Keller. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Keller was unable to finish the season with a top-five finish like he did in March’s race in Phoenix. But he rode an intelligent race and always stayed within the leader’s lap. He reached 14th position on the 65th lap and would not let go until the finish.

“Decent way to finish our up and down season in the ARCA Menards West Series. After having four DNF this season we were able to tie for seventh in points but ended up getting eigth. Thank you to all my amazing crew members and all of my sponsors for an amazing year!” Keller Said.

Starts              Wins              Top5              Top10              Pole              Best result            At Phoenix
22     0        6        13        0        4th (3x)        4 starts, best result : 5th 

No. 71 Nick Joanides (Jan’s Towing Racing) Start: 23rd – fin: 27th Crash

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Nick Joanides. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Big disappointment for Joanides who used a new chassis in Phoenix. He was fighting for the top-10, after a good comeback from his 23rd position on the starting grid, when he clashed with Todd Souza on the 64th lap. A big impact against the outside wall of turn 1. Car destroyed but fortunately no injuries for the driver.

Heartbreaking end to what was otherwise going to be a great day! After being pushed up into the marbles on my qualifying lap by another car coming onto the race track, started in the back and was making the pass for 10th. The car still had a lot more speed in it. Certainly would have continued to gain more positions before the finish.” Joanides said.

Starts              Wins              Top5              Top10              Pole              Best result              At Phoenix
28  0       19   0      4th      2 starts, best result 16th

No. 88 Joey Iest (Naake-Klauer Motorsports) Start: 18th – Fin: 25th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Joey Iest. (Photo by Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge)

Big problem with the suspension which broke on the 28th lap, forcing Iest to spend a lot of time in his pit box to repair. The NKM team will not give up and will be able to restart the No. 88 with 17 laps behind in 27th position. The car then lacked pace and Joey lost an 18th lap on the leader at the end of the race. This 25th position is anecdotal but demonstrates that at NKM we never give up.

Starts             Wins             Top5             Top10             Pole             Best result             At Phoenix
271111401st6 starts, best result 12th

No. 97 Landen Lewis (CR7 Motorsports) Start: 7th  Fin: 6th

Sean hingorani won the arca menards series west driver's championship as william sawalich won
Landen Lewis. (Photo by Diego Alvarado via Vincent Delforge)

A great race for Lewis even if he lacked a little bit of pace to consider aiming for victory. He gained a position from the start and remained in 6th position until the 28th lap. He then lost a position to Kris Wright before regaining his position on the 40th lap. Accessing the top-five just before halfway, then 4th position on the 60th lap and finally 3rd on the 65th lap. He was then not going to be able to contain the returns of Wood (73rd lap), Tyler Reif (74th lap) and Hingorani (75th lap). Finally he will take the checkered flag in sixth position.

 “That’s a wrap for the ARCA Menards West Series 2023 season. We had a solid day Phoenix finishing P6. Thank you to everyone CR7 Motorsports for bringing us a good car. Congratulations to the entire McGowan-Cook Racing Technologies team on bringing home the ARCA West owners Championship. Looking forward to 2024!” Lewis said.

Starts             Wins             Top5             Top10             Pole             Best result             At Phoenix
17291421st3 starts, best result 2nd

The next race on March 8 at Phoenix Raceway, Avondale, AZ, for the first race of the 2024 season.

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