Lavar Scott turned plenty of heads during his ARCA Menards Series debut in February at Daytona International Speedway.
Driving the No. 2 Chevrolet for Rev Racing, Scott ran at the front of the field throughout the afternoon and led 14 laps. He was one of several drivers fighting for the lead late in the 80-lap event and was the leader with four laps left.
Ultimately luck wasn’t on Scott’s side, and he fell to fourth when the checkered flag waved for race-winner Greg Van Alst.
Despite failing to find Victory Lane, Scott’s first ARCA appearance was among the best in recent memory, and it has provided him plenty of momentum in advance of Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series East Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway.
ARCA East at Five Flags: Entry list | Complete event schedule
Scott is one of several drivers who have committed to the entire eight-race ARCA Menards Series East schedule in 2023. He’ll be battling drivers like William Sawalich, Luke Fenhaus, Sean Hingorani and Tyler Reif, all of whom have also committed to the full series schedule.
From Carney’s Point, New Jersey, Scott has been a part of the Rev Racing Drive for Diversity program since 2020. He started his career by racing a 600 Micro Sprint and at the age of 12 competed in the 2015 Tulsa Shootout in Tulsa Oklahoma, the annual precursor to the popular Chili Bowl Nationals.
.@LavarScott is getting sim time here in preparation for the ARCA Menards East series opener at @5FlagsSpeedway Are you ready? @ARCA_Racing 🙌🧐 pic.twitter.com/b8BtKo0SAl
— Rev Racing (@RevRacin) March 21, 2023
From there he slowly began expanding his racing endeavors before landing a role at Rev Racing, which has allowed him to further expand his racing experience.
He earned his first NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series late model victory in 2021 at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway. He also competed in Mexico that year, winning a NASCAR Mikel’s Truck Series event at Autódromo del Queretaro.
He’ll look to add an ARCA Menards Series East victory to his growing resume this Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway.
Fenhaus, Pinnacle Racing Group set for ARCA debut
Saturday is a big day for Luke Fenhaus as he makes his ARCA Menards Series East debut at Five Flags Speedway.
The driver from Wausau, Wisconsin, will be driving for the Pinnacle Racing Group, which will also be making its ARCA platform debut as a team.
Fenhaus comes to ARCA after a successful short-track career that has seen him capture several major events in the Midwest, most notably the 2021 edition of the Slinger Nationals at Wisconsin’s Slinger Super Speedway. He also claimed the track championship at Slinger that year to go along with a track championship at State Park Speedway when he was just 14.
He further added to his list of accomplishments last season by capturing the inaugural CARS Pro Late Model Tour championship. The 18-year-old will now shift his attention to the ARCA platform as he looks to further elevate his career by capturing the ARCA Menards Series East championship.
He’ll do so with the help of a familiar face in the ARCA garage. Officials from the Pinnacle Racing Group have named Shane Huffman as the team’s crew chief and general manager.
Huffman was most recently apart of Bret Holmes Racing, where he helped driver Bret Holmes capture the 2020 ARCA Menards Series championship. He also enjoyed a successful driving career that included winning the 2003 Pro Cup Series championship.
Together, Fenhaus and Huffman could be a lethal combination for their competition in the ARCA Menards Series East.
Sawalich looking to rebound from Phoenix disappointment
William Sawalich looked like the man to beat when the ARCA Menards Series joined the ARCA Menards Series West for the annual combination race at Phoenix Raceway on March 10.
He qualified on the pole by more than half a second ahead of Jack Wood and dominated much of the race, leading a race-high 94 laps. However, contact during a late restart with Bradley Erickson sent Sawalich from the race lead to outside the top 10. He finished 13th, the last car on the lead lap.
With Phoenix now firmly in the rearview for Sawalich and his Joe Gibbs Racing team, his attention now turns to Five Flags Speedway and the ARCA Menards Series East championship.
Sawalich is no stranger to Five Flags Speedway. He won multiple Super and Pro Late Model events at the track in 2022, including a weekend sweep of both classes last July at the popular half-mile oval.
His previous experience at Five Flags combined with the potent Joe Gibbs Racing equipment likely make Sawalich the favorite going into Saturday’s Pensacola 200.
- Tyler Reif, who won the most recent ARCA platform event at Phoenix Raceway, and Sean Hingorani will both be in the field Saturday in Pensacola, Florida. They’re attempting the unique task of racing for both the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West championships in 2023.
- Tanner Arms, who made his ARCA platform debut in 2022, will make his first start of 2023 this weekend at Five Flags Speedway for MAN Motorsports. It’s one of at least six events Arms and MAN Motorsports plan to enter in 2023.
- Dale Shearer, who last raced on the ARCA platform in 2019, makes his return this Saturday at Five Flags. He’ll be driving his own No. 98 Toyota.
- Rise Motorsports, a new team owned by the husband and wife duo Rita and Tim Goulet, will make its ARCA platform debut Saturday evening. Rita Goulet, who competed in four ARCA events in 2022, will drive the No. 31 Chevrolet at Five Flags.