ARCA Menards Series East at Flat Rock Speedway – Dutch Boy 150 Pre-race Notes & Stats Update

ARCA Menards Series East

The Race: Dutch Boy 150
The Place: Flat Rock Speedway, Flat Rock, Mich.
The Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024
The Time: 7:30 pm ET
TV: Live, FloRacing
Distance: 150 Laps / 37.5 Miles

  • The Dutch Boy 150 at Flat Rock Speedway is the fourth race of the 2024 ARCA Menards Series East season and the 599th race in East Series history dating to 1987. It is the third and final stand-alone race for the East series this season; the remaining races are all combination races with the ARCA Menards Series.
  • The Dutch Boy 150 is the second ARCA Menards Series East race at Flat Rock; last year’s race, won by William Sawalich, was the first. The ARCA Menards Series raced 56 times at Flat Rock Speedway from 1953 through 2000.
  • Seventeen-year-old Connor Zilisch enters the Dutch Boy 150 with a five-point lead in the ARCA Menards Series East championship standings over William Sawalich. Zilisch has started the season with three top-five finishes, including his first career series win at Dover Motor Speedway in April. Zilisch started the season with an LMP2 class victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and backed it up with a class victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
  • Reigning series champion William Sawalich returns to Flat Rock Speedway to defend his 2023 race victory fresh off his first win of the 2023 season; Sawalich dominated last Saturday’s Music City 150 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway to record his first East win of the season. Sawalich won the ARCA Menards Series / ARCA Menards Series West combination race at Phoenix Raceway in March.
  • Gio Ruggiero dropped to third in the ARCA Menards Series East standings after a disappointing 14th-place finish at Nashville after a cut left rear tire sent him into the turn one wall. Ruggiero will look to rebound at the series tightest, smallest track, a track that has a lot of similarities to his home track, Seekonk Speedway. Ruggiero is the 2023 ASA CRA Super Series champion, the 2023 ASA Southern Super Series champion and started the 2024 season with a win in the ARCA Menards Series East opener at Five Flags Speedway.
  • Toni Breidinger will round out the Venturini Motorsports stable in the Dutch Boy 150. Breidinger will be making her first stand-alone East start since Dover in 2023 where she finished seventh. He best career East finish was fifth in the combination race at Iowa Speedway in 2023.
  • Venturini Motorsports founders and co-owners Bill and Cathy Venturini earned their first career ARCA Menards Series victory at Flat Rock Speedway in June 1983. Bill would win 12 races in his career as a driver in the ARCA Menards Series and is the 1987 and 1991 series champion. Cathy Venturini, his crew chief and over-the-wall pit crew member, was also the championship-winning car owner in 1987 and 1991.
  • Zachary Tinkle heads into the Dutch Boy 150 off his best career East finish, fourth, last Saturday night at Nashville. Tinkle drives for 1995 ARCA Menards Series national champion Andy Hillenburg, who won at Flat Rock en route to the title.
  • Sawyer, Michigan native Matt Kemp returns to Fast Track High Performance Racing to make his second career East start. Kemp, who has visited victory lane at Flat Rock in the Midwest Classic Racers dwarf car series, finished 19th in his series debut last year at Iowa Speedway.
  • Reigning ARCA Menards Series West champion Sean Hingorani set the ARCA Menards Series East qualifying record at Flat Rock Speedway in 2023 with a lap at 12.761 seconds/70.527 miles per hour.
  • William Sawalich established the 150-lap ARCA Menards Series East race record at Flat Rock Speedway in 2023, winning the race in 38 minutes, 48 seconds at an average speed of 57.990 miles per hour.
  • Last year’s Dutch Boy 150 was slowed by cautions 3 times for a total of 17 laps.
  • Previous ARCA Menards Series winners at Flat Rock Speedway include Julian “J.H” Petty (2, 1953), Bob Hunter (1957), Bill Lutz (1958), Les Snow (1965), Iggy Katona (1966), Bobby Watson (1969), Andy Hampton (1970), Ramo Stott (1971), Ron Hutcherson (1972, 1974), A. Arnold (1973), Moose Myers (1976, 1978, 1979), Bill Green (1977), Bill Kimmel (1978), Jim Cushman (1979), Marvin Smith (3, 1980; 2, 1981, 1995), Bob Dotter (1981), Lee Raymond (1982, 1983), Bobby Jacks (1982) Bill Venturini (1983; 2, 1984), Ed Hage (1985; 1986; 2, 1987), Bob Keselowski (1988, 1991), Tracy Leslie (1988), Dave Weltmeyer (1989; 2, 1992; 1994, 1996), Grant Adcox (1989), Bobby Bowsher (1990, 1991), Harold Fair (1993), Jeremy Mayfield (1993), Gary Bradberry (1994), Andy Hillenburg (1995), Joe Ruttman (1995), Tim Steele (1996, 1997), Frank Kimmel (1998, 2000), and Bill Baird (1999).
  • From 1954 through 1956, Flat Rock Speedway was promoted by “Big Bill” France, and the cornerstone event in 1954 was a 500-lap main event for NASCAR-style cars. That race was won by Lee Petty. His cousin Julian won twin 250-lap main events that were a part of the ARCA Menards Series calendar the previous year.
  • NASCAR legend Curtis Turner won a NASCAR Convertible Series race at Flat Rock Speedway in July 1956. Turner started eighth and was the only driver to complete all 250 laps; he finished two laps ahead of “Tiger” Tom Pistone. Allen Adkins won a 200-lap main event for the Convertible Series in August 1956 by a whopping 19 laps over second-place finisher Dick Joslin.
  • The 1956 Convertible races included two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Joe Weatherly, who finished fourth in July, nine-time Cup Series winner Bob Welborn, who was third in July and sixth in August, and 1955 ARCA Menards Series West champion Danny Letner. Glen Wood, one of the founding members of the famed Wood Bros. Racing team and a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, also competed in the August race but finished 18th after a right front tire failure. Seven-time USAC Champ Car winner (now the NTT IndyCar Series) winner Jud Larson was also in the July race; he finished 19th in the 23-car field.
  • The Dutch Boy 150 will run straight through with no scheduled breaks; teams will have two tires in their pit stall for emergency use only. All tire changes must be for damaged tires only and have to be approved by ARCA officials.
  • Should the race need to be extended into overtime, there will be unlimited attempts at a two-lap “green-white-checkered” finish. Should the caution be displayed after the white flag, there will be unlimited attempts at a one-lap “green and white together” finish.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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