Race Weekend Central

ARCA Preview: 2023 Sprecher 150 at Milwaukee

The Sprecher 150 is the penultimate race of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series East season.

It is also the 15th race of the 20-race ARCA Menards Series season. With 23 drivers entered, who will come out victorious at the Milwaukee Mile?

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Entry List: 2023 Sprecher 150

Unlike the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, which has not raced at the one-mile racetrack since 2009, ARCA has been there the past two years. Surprisingly though, of the top-10 finishers in the 2022 ARCA Milwaukee event, Jesse Love and Jake Finch are the only two competing in this year’s iteration.

Love’s Venturini Motorsports has never won at Milwaukee before. Now the team fields four entries for the 150-lap race: Love in the No. 20, Sean Hingorani in the No. 15, Conner Jones in the No. 25 and Gus Dean in the No. 55.

In his two starts at Milwaukee, Love has a pair of seventh-place finishes. He also has a sixth-place finish there in super late model competition.

Yes, several individuals for Sunday’s (Aug. 27) ARCA race have experience at Milwaukee in late model events there.

Two of those are folks within VMS: driver Hingorani and crew chief Cayden Lapcevich. Hingorani finished 19th in the 2023 late model event at Milwaukee and Lapcevich also wound up 19th in the 2021 late model race. Lapcevich is the crew chief for Jones, so the No. 25 team has a knowledgeable presence atop its pit box.

Jones and Dean have never been to Milwaukee before. Dean is debuting a new paint scheme on his No. 55, the first time he’s driven that entry for VMS since his first two starts with the team in 2022.

In the East point standings, William Sawalich leads Luke Fenhaus by eight points and Lavar Scott by 29. Sawalich and Fenhaus both have late model experience at Milwaukee too.

Sawalich finished fifth there in 2022 and runner up this year.

“I think we will have strong weekend in Milwaukee,” Sawalich said in a team release. “The JGR guys have been strong here in the past, and I know we’ll bring a great car to the track. We’re in the hunt for the ARCA East championship so we need to keep our nose clean and have a good points weekend to set ourselves up at Bristol [Motor Speedway].”

Meanwhile, Fenhaus has three late model starts there, albeit without any top 10s.

“Well, it’s nice you know it’s kind of going to be like racing at home for me,” Fenhaus told the Motor Racing Network prior to the ARCA race at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. “With all the Wisconsin fans there and somewhere I’ve had success in the past with super late model racing, it’s going to be fun going there. I expect to win there, I expect to win everywhere but that’s going to be a special one for me. Just to have these combo races is really good for us to bring in Jesse.”

“A little bit,” he said in response to whether his experience at Milwaukee will give him an advantage. “Just knowing where you can pass, where you can set up drivers, knowing where to brake. Obviously, [the] ARCA car is different than a super late model, but it’s the same concept. You know what you’re going to do on a race weekend. I just think better preparing than the others is what it all comes down to, and, if you have a good racecar, you should be able to take care of work on a weekend basis. Preparing myself as best as I can for the ARCA car […], we’ve had success at Milwaukee in the past and hope we can keep that going in a couple of weeks.”

Rev Racing is fielding both Scott in the No. 6 and Andres Perez de Lara, who just scored his career-best result at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, in the No. 2 at Milwaukee. The organization bagged a pair of top fives for its two ARCA drivers in 2022, so the team is well-suited to excel on Sunday.

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“The energy within the team is changing,” Perez de Lara said in a team release. “We’re on a continuous journey of improvement, building trust among ourselves and getting ever closer to victory lane. The win is within our grasp.”

Indeed, Perez de Lara’s performance has him second in the main ARCA series points, albeit 114 points behind Love.

Scott, meanwhile, has impressed on track in his ARCA starts. In nine starts in the series, he has eight top fives and nine top 10s. He’s ready to take home his first ARCA trophy too.

“Mentally ready for the race, I’m confident in our readiness for Sunday’s event,” he added. “Simulator sessions with Andres have been invaluable in shaping our strategy.”

Jones and Sawalich are two of the three drivers who will run double duty on Sunday at Milwaukee as they will also compete in the Truck race after the completion of the ARCA one. The third is Grant Enfinger, who jumps back into the No. 97 for his second ARCA start of 2023. He’s using the ARCA race to gain experience for his Truck playoff race.

“Any laps around a track are good laps, especially at a place that I’ve never been to,” he said in a GMS Racing team release. “So, I appreciate Codie [Rohrbaugh, CR7 Motorsports Team Owner] for the opportunity to run their car, and more than that, it’s really fun racing in the ARCA Series.

“Overall, I’m looking forward to racing at Milwaukee; it’s a track that I’ve heard a lot about, and [crew chief Jeff] Hensley has raced there before, but I’ve never seen the place. I’m anxious to get there and get practice started on Saturday with our Champion Power Equipment Chevy, and hopefully we’ll have some good speed in the race.”

For other drivers who have not raced in an ARCA race at Milwaukee before, such as Frankie Muniz, who’s third in ARCA points, fifth place Jon Garrett and series debutant Rick Redig-Tackman, the 45-minute practice session will be very valuable. Both practice and qualifying will take place on Saturday, the day before the race.

The Sprecher 150 will take place on Sunday, Aug. 27 at 1 p.m. ET with TV coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

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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