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William Sawalich in victory lane. (CARS Tour photo)

Sawalich Is Pro Late Model Ace

GRANITE FALLS, N.C. — William Sawalich is gradually transforming into one of the most promising young racing prospects in the country.

Only two weeks after winning his first super late model race at Montgomery Motor Speedway, Sawalich enjoyed a flawless evening in the CARS Pro Late Model Tour feature of the Keen Parts 200 at Tri-County Motor Speedway for his second win in the series.

With the win, Sawalich becomes the first repeat winner in the inaugural CARS PLM Tour season and continued to showcase the wealth of knowledge he absorbed from having short-track veterans Dennis and Brandon Setzer guiding him through the development process.

“I just paced myself good,” Sawalich said. “I’m fortunate that I got a great car from Dennis and Brandon Setzer. I ran my race, and even though I had a mistake on [a late] restart, I came back from that well. All in all, it was a good evening.”

The main goal Sawalich established for himself in 2022 was to accumulate as much track time as possible regardless of the car.

Although Sawalich is out of the CARS PLM Tour points battle after skipping the Puryear Tank Lines 225 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Sawalich is only focused on winning every single race in the series.

“Hopefully we can just keep the momentum going,” Sawalich said.

Sawalich also ended up running the 100-lap Southern Super Series race that followed the CARS PLM Tour feature, where he recorded a top-five finish with Donnie Wilson Racing.

The only driver who came close to challenging Sawalich was Giovanni Ruggiero.

On the final restart, Ruggiero did everything possible to hold the bottom alongside Sawalich and take control of the race, but he ended up settling for a solid second place finish despite not having the car to his liking through all 100 laps.

“We fought a really tight race car the whole race,” Ruggiero said. “This shows that you should never give up. We kept digging and trucking the whole race and I can’t thank everyone who made it possible for me to be here.”

Jett Noland finished third.

“We really didn’t have much left at the end,” Noland said. “We started on the bottom way too many times but that’s how racing is. Trying to keep up on the bottom is what really caused us to burn this car up.”

The finish:

William Sawalich, Giovanni Ruggiero, Jett Noland, Luke Fenhaus, Caden Kvapil, Kody King, Michael Hinde, Austin MacDonald, Charlie Keeven, Landon Huffman, Tanner Carter, Luke Morey, Katie Hettinger, Rusty Skewes.