Toni Breidinger and Amber Balcaen Top Speed Charts in Daytona Preseason Practice

By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer

Venturini Motorsports showed up on Saturday with speed as all four of its teams topped the overall speed charts.

Toni Breidinger had the fastest lap of 183.228 mph (49.119 seconds) around the Daytona International Speedway to put her No. 55 Toyota Camry first overall of 61 drivers. Her new Venturini Motorsports teammate, Amber Balcaen, finished the session in second .004-seconds off the top spot.

Jesse Love, Gus Dean, and William Sawalich rounded out the top-five speeds. 

The first through fourth place fastest speeds were turned on Saturday while Sawalich’s fastest lap was turned on Friday.

Andy Jankowiak, Brayton Laster, Nick Sanchez, Jacob Perry, and Frankie Muniz completed the top-ten speeds.

Sawalich Leads the Way in Friday Preseason Practice in Debut with Joe Gibbs Racing

The 16-year-old William Sawalich was impressive in his first appearance with Joe Gibbs Racing in the ARCA Menards Series on Friday putting the No. 18 Toyota Camry on the top of the speed charts with a 183.094 mph (49.155-seconds) lap in his first laps ever at the Daytona International Speedway.

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Andy Jankowiak finished the session runner-up with a lap that was just .106-seconds off of Sawalich’s lap. 

On Friday, Brayton Laster, Nick Sanchez, and Jacob Perry rounded out the top five on the speed charts.

There was a lot of storylines in Friday’s results.

Former movie and television star Frankie Muniz, who will be running the full ARCA Menards Series season with Rette-Jones Racing in 2023, finished Friday’s session in sixth.

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Scott Melton, who was involved in a major accident at Talladega in the spring of 2022 and suffered a compound fracture in his lower left leg, made his return to an ARCA Menards Series car on Friday. He finished the session in seventh.

Koelle: Scott Melton Transported to Local Hospital for Further Evaluation

Christopher Tate, Jason Kitzmiller, and Amber Balcaen rounded out the top-ten in overall Friday speeds.

Breidinger Fastest as Venturini Motorsports Sweep Top-Four in Saturdays Session

Toni Breidinger turned the fastest lap of the entire two day session on Saturday putting it on the top of the speed charts. After running the full 20-race schedule in 2022, Breidinger will run a part-time schedule with Venturini Motorsports. Her best career-finish in the ARCA Menards Series came at Salem in 2022 where she finished eighth. 

As noted up top, Venturini Motorsports drivers Amber Balcaen, Jesse Love, and Gus Dean rounded out the top-four. Emerling-Gase Racing co-owner Patrick Emerling finished the session in fifth rounding out the top-five in Saturday’s final session before drivers prepare for the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire next month. 

Jake Finch, Andres Perez De Lara, Lavar Scott, Landon Lewis, and Sean Corr rounded out the top-10.

The ARCA Menards Series returns to the Daytona International Speedway next month on Thursday, February 16th with the first and only practice session. Qualifying for the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire will be on Friday, February 17th while the event kicks off at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 18th. 

Stay tuned to Kickin’ the Tires for news, features, and ultimately the return of The ARCA Menards Series Preview leading into the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire. 

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