Race Weekend Central

ARCA Preview: 2023 Calypso 150 at Iowa

The Calypso 150 at Iowa Speedway is not just a normal race for the ARCA Menards Series. It is the first of four combination races for the main series with the ARCA Menards Series East.

With 22 drivers entered, it’s a different crop of drivers who will factor into the race on Saturday (July 15) night.

Jesse Love holds a 43-point lead in the main series and he looks to add another victory to his resume.

See also
ARCA Power Rankings: Jesse Love Expands His Points Lead

Love has competed at Iowa three times and has one top 10, a seventh-place showing in the 2021 race, and one pole, from this race last year.

Last year, Love led 55 laps and was running well until a battery issue ended his race with a 13th-place result.

Love isn’t fazed by zero top fives in three starts at Iowa though, telling Frontstretch he is more excited about this race than the most recent one at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Additionally, Love believes the 0.875-mile short track is one of his best racetracks, and he’s confident Venturini Motorsports will bring him a fast No. 20 Toyota.

That’s a bold assessment by Love, as he finished fourth at Mid-Ohio despite not qualifying for the race, then dealt with fuel pressure issues. If he’s more confident for Iowa, then his competitors must bring their ‘A’ games.

See also
Entry List: 2023 Calypso 150

In place of suspended Sean Hingorani is Conner Jones.

Jones finished fifth in the 2022 Iowa race after starting third. Jones has been fast in his ARCA tenure too. In nine career main series starts, Jones has two top fives and six top 10s. He’s been quick in piloting VMS Toyotas. He finished fourth at Elko Speedway for his career-best finish. Can he join Love in excelling at Iowa?

VMS vs. Joe Gibbs Racing in ARCA has been a growing rivalry.

Although William Sawalich told Frontstretch that he spoke to Love after Elko and the two are now good, JGR is stout at Iowa.

In fact, JGR has won the past three Iowa races.

“I’m excited for Iowa for sure,” Sawalich told YouTube channel Jeffrey Hrunka. “I think that’s just going to be a different challenge for me. I’ve never been to something like that. I guess Dover’s the closest thing I’ve been to. And it’s also kind of a short track as well as a bigger track for me.”

In the East race at Dover Motor Speedway, Sawalich started first, but he only led two laps en route to finishing fourth. Sawalich has enjoyed such an outstanding East campaign that his fourth at Dover is his worst finish of the season.

Sawalich holds a 14-point lead over Luke Fenhaus in the East standings. Fenhaus has never been to Iowa. Earlier this season, he scored his first East win at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. He’s seeking his second win to close his championship deficit.

Rev Racing has its two drivers in the top five in points in their respective series. Andres Perez de Lara is third in the main standings and Lavar Scott is fourth in the East standings.

Mid-Ohio ended Perez de Lara’s streak of six straight top 10s. He also has a streak of four straight races of starting inside the top 10. Rev brings him a speedy No. 2 Chevrolet, and he is eager to showcase that speed.

“Another new track, I think it’s good that we have the opportunity to race next week,” Perez de Lara told Frontstretch post-race at Mid-Ohio. “It’s only a couple of days until we can try again, and we’ll try to take this momentum from Mid-Ohio that I consider a good race even though the result didn’t show.”

See also
Entry List: 2023 Calypso 150

For the first time, Perez de Lara and Scott will be teammates together in the same race.

“He’s a great friend, and we’ll try to help each other a lot in Iowa and hopefully we both can get a really good result there for Rev Racing and [team owner] Max Siegel,” Perez de Lara added.

Scott made his main series debut at Daytona International Speedway, and he amazed by leading 14 laps en route to ultimately finishing fourth.

“I am incredibly excited to get back behind the wheel of the No. 6 and to visit Iowa Speedway,” Scott added in a team release. “My team and I have been working diligently to prepare our Chevrolet and I know we have the speed to contend at Iowa. I hope to bring Rev their first win this season by using what I learned at Flat Rock [Speedway].”

The drivers and teams will have opportunities to adjust their racecars before the checkered flag flies. There will be a 45-minute practice session prior to qualifying. Then, the 150-lap race will have two competition cautions at laps 50 and 100.

You can watch the Calypso 150 on Saturday, July 15 at 8 p.m. ET, with TV coverage provided by FOX Sports 2 and live streaming available on FloRacing.

About the author

Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.

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