The season-opening venue for the ARCA Menards Series East, Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, is more than 2,000 miles away from Sean Hingorani’s hometown of Newport Beach, California.
Despite this, Hingorani is eager to begin the long journey from the West Coast and learn from everyone at Venturini Motorsports as he looks to make a strong first impression across the three ARCA divisions, which includes a full-time East Series campaign in 2023.
Hingorani is not expecting anything to come easy in ARCA, but he feels confident he can make substantial progress in year one with the people surrounding him.
“It all kind of happened pretty fast, but you can’t turn down an offer [to drive for Venturini Motorsports],” Hingorani said. “I’m feeling good about the opportunity to work with Venturini and Toyota. Both have a very good past together, and I think we can contend for the championship.”
With only a handful of his planned ARCA starts occurring in the Pacific Time Zone, Hingorani’s upcoming season will see him spend the longest stretch away from his home at any point during his burgeoning career.
Such a change would be imposing for any young driver, but Hingorani sees the move over to the East Coast as both refreshing and necessary for him to gain experience that he hopes will catapult him into the top levels of NASCAR.
“It’s better for me to be [on the East Coast], so I can get more exposure to the shop,” Hingorani said. “I’ve been to the East Coast several times, and I really like it out there. For me, it’s kind of like a second home now.”
Hingorani said his trips to the East Coast in 2022 provided him an idea on how broad racing culture was in that part of the country.
Along with competing in super late model, pro late model and legends events on the West Coast, Hingorani took part in his first Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway, earning a top 10 in his two appearances with the Young Lions division.
Hingorani used his knowledge from both sides of the United States and applied it to his ARCA Menards Series West debut at Evergreen Speedway with Eric Nascimento’s operation, where he ended up finishing 14th after a late accident erased a potential top-five performance.
The next four West Series races for Hingorani saw him earn three starting positions inside the top 10, including a career best of fifth at Portland International Raceway. Misfortune ended up plaguing Hingorani during those events, as he was unable to record a single lead-lap finish.
Hingorani admitted it was frustrating to not show just how strong his equipment was in his five West Series appearances, but he said the positives and negatives mentally prepared him for the rigorous schedule that lies ahead with Venturini.
“I learned a lot about the way the cars drive and particularly how the ARCA drivers race,” Hingorani said. “I think I got a pretty good amount of experience heading into 2023, so I’m feeling pretty confident about everything.”
Outside of the full East Series schedule, Hingorani in 2023 will be taking a Venturini car to a bunch of diverse facilities across the United States such as historic short tracks in Michigan’s Berlin Raceway and Ohio’s Toledo Speedway, as well as the 2.26-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Hingorani knows he must be ready for every race so he can meet the standard of success established at Venturini through 40 years of ARCA competition.
Names like Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Daniel Suarez and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano have all competed for Venturini Motorsports, which only adds to the prestige of the organization for Hingorani as he looks to become another successful driver under their banner.
To accomplish that goal, Hingorani anticipates having to battle many talented young competitors across each ARCA division. His main competition for the East Series title will be William Sawalich, who is driving the same car Sammy Smith used to win two consecutive series championships in 2021 and 2022.
Even though many challenges lie ahead for Hingorani in ARCA, he enters the season with a sense of composure, which he credits to the atmosphere cultivated at Venturini that puts driver success at the forefront.
“I’m glad everyone at Venturini has taken me under their wing,” Hingorani said. “I’m so lucky to have this whole crew, and we’re all going to be in for a great season. It would be awesome to win a championship, but we’re just going to have to see how the year goes.”
Hingorani’s arrival in ARCA continues a long line of drivers who originated from southern California like Kevin Harvick, NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. and seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.
Although Hingorani’s career is only starting, he is optimistic his time with Venturini will give him everything needed to become one of the next great competitors from that region.