Sawalich Secures Third Straight Phoenix ARCA Pole


William Sawalich with the General Tire Pole Award at Phoenix Raceway. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR photo)

AVONDALE, Ariz. – Defending ARCA Menards Series East champion William Sawalich proved Friday at Phoenix Raceway that he continues to be a quick study on the West Coast as well.

Sawalich turned a blistering 27.316-second (131.790 mph) lap around the one-mile desert oval to earn the General Tire Pole Award during qualifying for the General Tire 150, a combination race between the ARCA Menards Series national field and the ARCA Menards Series West.

It marked Sawalich’s seventh overall ARCA national pole, his third pole in the West Series, and his third top qualifying effort in a row at Phoenix Raceway.

The 17-year-old native of Eden Prairie, Minn., will chase a redemption victory at Phoenix Friday night, after a late-race spin last March cost him the victory in the ARCA national and West combination race a year ago.

Joining the No. 18 Starkey-SoundGear Toyota on the front row will be the Hattori Racing Enterprises-prepared No. 61 Fidelity Capital Toyota of reigning ARCA Menards Series West titlist Sean Hingorani.

Hingorani’s lap of 27.401 seconds (131.382 mph) was less than a tenth of a second off the pole.

Venturini Motorsports’ Gio Ruggiero and Rev Racing’s Andres Perez de Lara share the second row of the grid, with 2015 ARCA Menards Series champion Grant Enfinger starting fifth in his return to the series for the first time since last August at the Milwaukee Mile.

Toyota Racing Development standout Isabella Robusto, 19, qualified sixth for her ARCA Menards Series debut, with Tyler Reif, Jack Wood, Kris Wright, and Lavar Scott closing the top 10.

Notables starting deeper in the field include Andy Jankowiak (13th), Marco Andretti (16th), Connor Mosack (18th), Trevor Huddleston (20th), Tanner Reif (25th), and Brad Perez (31st).

With 43 cars attempting to make the 40-car starting field, Cody Dennison, Garrett Zacharias, and Brad Smith – who made a practice attempt in a loaned car from Rev Racing to keep his full-season bonus status intact – failed to qualify.

The General Tire 150 is slated for an 8 p.m. ET green flag, with live coverage on FS1 and the Motor Racing Network.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.