William Sawalich to run 6 NASCAR Truck races in 2023

William Sawalich to run 6 NASCAR Truck races in 2023

Although Toyota’s driver development program took a hit after Kyle Busch and his team moved to Chevrolet, they still have plenty of talent in the pipeline. One of them is William Sawalich, who will pursue the 2023 ARCA Menards Series championship for Joe Gibbs Racing. Although he hasn’t even made his ARCA debut yet, Toyota is also offering him reps in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as he will race six races in the #1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for TRICON Garage.

Sawalich has been one of the rising prospects in his seven-year racing career, competing mostly in late models. In 2022, he recorded six victories in the CARS Tour Pro Late Model series and two in the Southern Super Series, among others. He joined JGR in December on a multi-year deal.

“Late model racing is a fundamental part of our racing team’s history, and it’s been a pleasure to see William’s success and maturation in these series,” said TRICON owner David Gilliland. “We think he will fit in perfectly at TRICON and are delighted to have him on our team of drivers.”

At just sixteen years old, born months after the release of the iconic racing films Cars and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Sawalich will be the youngest driver to compete at a NASCAR national level.

His truck debut will be at Martinsville Speedway on April 14. Three months later, it returns to the series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 8, followed by Richmond Raceway (July 29), Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park (August 11), Milwaukee Mile (August 27) and Bristol Motor Speedway (September 14). The ARCA Menards series also supports Mid-Ohio, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Bristol rounds, with Sawalich running both series on the same day, except Mid-Ohio.

“I am thrilled to be working with the Gray and Gilliland families and everyone at TRICON,” Sawalich commented. “I know the team will work hard to make sure we have the best equipment and the best teams around us. 2023 is going to be a huge year for my growth between ARCA and Trucks, and I’m confident that I I will learn a lot and that I will be able to perfect my craft as a Toyota development driver here.

Sawalich’s ARCA car and truck will be sponsored by hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Hearing, which his father Brandon Sawalich oversees as president and CEO.

Under their former name David Gilliland Racing, TRICON Garage fielded the full-time No. 1 for Hailie Deegan in 2022, although the partnership ended when the team switched from Ford to Toyota. As No. 1 moves to a limited roster for Sawalich, TRICON will have No. 5 for Dean Thompson, No. 11 for Corey Heim, No. 15 for Tanner Gray and No. 17 for Taylor Gray and a driver to be announced as Taylor is too young to run the first three races. The Grays’ grandfather, Johnny, is part-owner of the team.

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