HICKORY, N.C. — Mother Nature dampened the vibrant festivities normally associated with the Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday evening.
A persistent rain shower that started moments after the conclusion of the 100-lap Solid Rock Carriers CARS Pro Late Model Tour feature, which was won by William Sawalich, quickly turned into a torrential downpour, which resulted in the postponement of the Late Model Stock race.
With the unfavorable weather conditions continuing into Sunday evening, CARS Tour owner Jack McNelly and Hickory made the decision to hold the rest of the Throwback 276 on Friday evening.
The only person who departed Hickory somewhat satisfied on Saturday evening was Sawalich.
By leading every single lap from the drop of the green flag for the third time in the 2022 CARS PLM Tour season, Sawalich continues an efficient stretch of races that also includes two victories driving a super late model for Donnie Wilson.
“This feels super good,” Sawalich said. “Momentum is key right now and I can’t thank Setzer Racing Development for all their hard work on that car. It’s super cool to win in the special Orange Blossom paint scheme.”
Having that quality seat time with Wilson’s operation is something that Sawalich believes has only bolstered his development over the past couple of months, adding that he was eager to return to Setzer’s Pro Late Model after defeating Super Late Model standouts in Bubba Pollard and Stephen Nasse the previous weekend at Five Flags Speedway.
Driving the Orange Blossom colors that Dennis Setzer took to victory lane so many times in his career, Sawalich’s only real challenge came on the restarts from Caden Kvapil, who ended up fading to ninth in the final running order after suffering a mechanical issue in the closing laps.
Even though he missed the Puryear Tank Lines 225 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Sawalich is optimistic that he can still chase down Kvapil and Luke Fenhaus for the PLM Tour title, but said that efficiency will be imperative over the remaining six events to accomplish that goal.
“If we keep winning, I think we can get back in the points hunt,” Sawalich said. “That’d be a great situation, but we just have to stay consistent in qualifying and during the race.”
William Sawalich, Luke Fenhaus, William Hale, Nick Loden, Logan Jones, Austin MacDonald, Stephen Leicht, Luke Morey, Caden Kvapil, Lee Tissot, Clark Houston, Rusty Skewes, Kody King.