Race Weekend Central

William Sawalich Wins ARCA West Race at Portland

William Sawalich took the lead in the ARCA Menards Series West race at Portland International Raceway on Friday (May 31) shortly before the halfway break and he never relinquished it. He drove his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota all the way to victory lane for his second West victory in 2024.

Sawalich earned his first road course triumph in ARCA competition too. Overall, it’s his third West win and 13th in the ARCA platform.

He led 32 of the 57 laps in the first ARCA series road course race in 2024.

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“Yeah, for sure, definitely worked on our road course program in the offseason,” Sawalich said in victory lane. “I worked on myself, wasn’t that great last year. Put in the work and got the win here so that feels really good and lot of confidence rolling into Sonoma [Raceway] and I know we’re going to be really good there. Just got to test out the new repave and see how it goes.

“Just confidence from other races and getting practice on those restarts like you said. But my Starkey Soundgear Toyota Camry allowed me to do that. Super fast today so can’t thank the Joe Gibbs Racing guys enough.

“Man, it gives me more confidence on road course races. I know how to lead a road course race now, I guess, so just more confidence in getting the ball rolling here.”

NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Brandon Jones came home second in the No. 42 Cook Technologies Raceway Chevrolet. Jones won the pole earlier on Friday but once he lost the lead to Sawalich, despite a few restarts, he never seriously challenged for it again.

Venturini Motorsports driver Isabella Robusto finished third, her second West top 10 in as many starts.

Tyler Reif was the highest-running West series regular in fourth ahead of fellow VMS driver Gio Ruggiero.

Dale Quarterley banged fenders with many other drivers, ultimately winding up sixth. Marco Andretti shared a similar tale as his No. 17 CRT Chevy looked like it ran on a short track and he followed Quarterley in seventh.

Series regulars Trevor Huddleston, Kyle Keller and Takuma Koga rounded out the top 10 in eighth through 10th, respectively.

While many drivers made contact with each other throughout the 57-lap race, and there were a few cautions, Eric Johnson Jr. and Jack Wood were the two drivers who produced the biggest highlight, albeit the outcome wasn’t in their favor.

With 11 laps to go, Johnson missed the final turn and instead drove his No. 19 Chevrolet straight into the tire barriers, ending his day.

On the subsequent restart, Wood boldly attempted to grab the lead. He missed the top two, Sawalich and Jones, and slid his No. 16 Chevrolet across the grass, avoiding contact with everyone but losing valuable positions as he slid back as far as 15th.

The Bill McAnally Racing duo of Wood and Johnson finished 12th and 19th with spots on the highlight reel.

ARCA West Results from Portland

The West field makes its second and final road course stop on the circuit at Sonoma Raceway next Friday (June 7). That race will take place at 6:30 p.m. ET with live coverage provided by 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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jon jensen

Isabella Robusto will replace hailie deegan.

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