Race Weekend Central

Connor Zilisch Leads Every Lap, Wins ARCA East at Flat Rock

Even with a three-lap dash to the finish, Connor Zilisch was not going to be denied the victory. He led every lap en route to winning the ARCA Menards Series race at Flat Rock Speedway on Saturday (May 18) night.

Zilisch won the pole and absolutely dominated the 150-lap race at the 0.25-mile short track. He lapped all the way up to fourth-place Toni Breidinger and scored his second career East victory.

Zilisch also earned the fourth East win for Pinnacle Racing Group and its fifth overall triumph.

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“Yeah you explained it best, this Pinnacle Racing Group team, man, we got our teeth beat in last week and we came back this week,” Zilisch victoriously told ARCA Communications Manager Charles Krall via FloRacing. “We don’t quit and you know all these guys, they work so hard back at the shop. This is their fourth weekend in a row on the road. And it’s not easy for these guys, they work day in, day out to, you know, bring fast racecars to the track and make this all possible. So, yeah, this one means a lot. Really it does because last week was tough. You know we’re all really frustrated. But like I said, we don’t quit and to come here and lead every lap, it means a lot.”

Defending race winner William Sawalich finished second followed by Gio Ruggiero in third.

“Yeah lapped cars were pretty tough today but the Joe Gibbs Racing crew brought me a really fast Starkey Soundgear Toyota Camry so really proud of that,” Sawalich said post-race. “Second place, not where we wanted to be but we’ll definitely take it so we’ll come back better.”

“Yeah you know, just fought a tight racecar all day and just need to better for next time we come back here and it’s unfortunate but we’ll get them at the next one,” Ruggiero added.

Driving the No. 55 Toyota instead of her usual No. 25 that she drives full time in the national series, Breidinger wound up fourth, one spot behind her Venturini Motorsports teammate Ruggiero.

Fast Track Racing drivers Zachary Tinkle, Matt Kemp, Blaine Donahue and Jayson Alexander came home fifth through eighth, respectively.

DL Wilson picked up his third top 10 of the season, and second in a row, with his ninth-place result. Cody Dennison rounded out the top-10 finishers in 10th place, tying his career-best previously set in the season opener at Five Flags Speedway.

In the second-ever East race at Flat Rock, the caution flag flew only twice in the race, one with zero scheduled breaks. Colton Collins spun on lap 3 and Dennison spun with less than 10 laps to go.

Zilisch weaved his way through lapped traffic and extended his points lead with half of the eight-race season now complete.

ARCA East Results from Flat Rock

The East field will next compete at Iowa Speedway in a combination race with the ARCA Menards Series. The drivers will battle at the 0.875-mile short track on Friday, June 14 at 8 p.m. ET with TV coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

About the author

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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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Flat Rock: home of legend Joy Fair!

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