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Phoenix Rising: Jake Finch earns first ARCA East victory at Dover

DOVER, Del. — The legacy of James Finch and Phoenix Racing remains alive and well in stock car racing.

Carrying the iconic Phoenix Racing logo on the hood of his No. 20 Venturini Motorsports Toyota at Dover Motor Speedway during Saturday’s General Tire 125, James’ son Jake Finch had to fend off a challenge from Landen Lewis during a green-white-checkered finish to earn his first ARCA Menards Series East victory.

Jake had no idea what to expect from Lewis or himself during the sprint to the finish, but credited his crew chief Shannon Rursch and spotter Tyler Monn for keeping him composed through a chaotic last restart.

“Tyler Monn and Shannon Rursch really calmed me down [on that last restart],” Jake said. “I was a little nervous and thought I was going to sell it. You’re thinking of all the worst possible scenarios that can happen, but [Tyler and Shannon] told me to keep doing what I was doing.”

Success has long followed the Finch family in stock car racing, with Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Randy LaJoie and Jeff Purvis among those who visited Victory Lane in one of NASCAR’s top three divisions under the Phoenix Racing banner.

The younger Finch’s own dreams of racing in NASCAR have kept Phoenix Racing around on a smaller scale. Since the turn of the decade, James has maintained an active presence in short track racing by helping his son develop his race craft in Super Late Model competition and now ARCA Menards Series East.

Jake’s gradual improvement ultimately caught the attention of Venturini Motorsports. After making two starts with the organization in 2022, Venturini brought Jake back for an expanded part-time schedule that would see him contest races in all three ARCA divisions.

Looking to build upon a solid third-place finish in the ARCA Menards Series East opener at Five Flags Speedway last month, Jake utilized patience at the beginning of the General Tire 125 before quickly working his way around Lewis and teammate Conner Jones during the first restart of the day.

Jake faced consistent pressure from Lewis during the closing stages, but felt confident he could fend off the ARCA Menards Series West points leader, even after a cut tire from Jones forced a green-white-checkered restart.

A strong jump from Lewis on the outside caught Jake by surprise, but he remembered the advice passed down from his crew to stay calm. He successfully kept his car on the bottom of the track before moving Lewis out of the groove just enough on the last lap to pull away to the victory.

“I didn’t think [Landen] would be on my door at that point because we were so good,” Finch said. “I did what I thought I should do and we ended up winning, which is an awesome feeling.”

Jake’s triumph at Dover continued a recent string of success for Venturini Motorsports Sean Hingorani has claimed the last two ARCA Menards Series West races, while Jesse Love gave Venturini their first win of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season at Talladega Superspeedway last Saturday.

Luke Fenhaus brought home a solid third-place finish behind Finch and Lewis. William Sawalich and Lavar Scott completed the top-five.

A replay of the General Tire 125 at Dover Motor Speedway can be seen on CNBC at 11 a.m. ET on May 7.

The ARCA Menards Series East will be back in action on May 13 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, with the green flag set to wave at 9:30 p.m. ET. The race will be streamed live on FloRacing.

VMS Dominates the ARCA Weekend Making History With Two Unprecedented Victories in a Single Day

Venturini Motorsports (VMS) swept the ARCA weekend procuring two historic victories in a single day, a near impossible feat for any team. Jesse Love conquered Talladega Superspeedway in the Main Series while Sean Hingorani made a triumphant drive to a Kern County Raceway Park Victory in the West Series. Already holding the record of winningest team in the history of the series, Venturini Motorsports has extended their run to 86 total wins in ARCA. As the only team to ever challenge for three championship titles in a single season, VMS has found its stride with three consecutive victories. 

18 year old driverJesse Love, from Menlo Park, California, secured his first superspeedway win of his career at the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway. Love made his speedway debut at the ARCA Menards Series Season opener at Daytona this season having just reached age eligibility. On only his second speedway outing, he was able to hold off his teammate, Gus Dean, and bring home a one-two for Venturini Motorsports. Love was supported by his crew chief, Shannon Rursch, and spotter, Tyler Monn. This marks Love’s third victory in the ARCA Menards Series. 

Love managed a commanding performance at the iconic track, leading the first half and pulling off the Reese’s Sweet Move of the race to retake the lead on lap 69 for the victory. Following the celebrations Love described the significance of the victory. “I’ve been going through a lot emotionally just trying to stay positive but also stay confident and it just feels good to know that what you’re doing is right.” 

Elaborating on the impact of his family’s presence, “My mom doesn’t get to come to a lot of these races. She’s back home making sure our family life is secure. I moved away from home at about 15 years old, I didn’t get a whole lot of time with my mom the last three years so to win when my mom’s here at the race she wanted to go to the most just made me feel really good. She’s definitely my source of motivation.”

Later that evening, over 2000 miles away, 16 year old rookie Sean Hingorani, from Newport Beach, California, took on the NAPA Auto Parts BlueDEF 150 at Kern County Raceway Park. Starting from second place and taking on an early race penalty, Hingorani was able to fight his way back up to win from a lap down. Hingorani’s victory is a first for the team at the ARCA Menards Series West track. Aside from being the second victory for the team in a day, it was also the second ARCA West victory for Hingorani in a row. He most recently captured the win at Irwindale Speedway, becoming the first driver of Indian Descent to win a NASCAR race. 

On his second consecutive ARCA Menards Series West victory and the championship battle Hingorani explains, “I’m just trying to do the best I can, get the best finishes possible. I’ve got the right guys behind me to do it.”

Hingorani had team owner Billy Venturini as his spotter once again, after winning alongside him previously at Irwindale. Monon Rahman served as Hingorani’s crew chief and the victory marked Rahman’s first in the role of crew chief.

Rahman, who is Bengali, had aspirations of working in NASCAR as early as high school. Rahman interned with Venturini Motorsports and traveled with the team for multiple races in the 2017 and 2018 seasons before graduating college at the age of 19 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Working full time as the VMS engineer, Rahman has more recently stepped up into the role of crew chief under the guidance of team owner, Billy Venturini. This first victory is a sign of what’s to come as Venturini Motorsports continues their efforts out West. 

Venturini Motorsports heads to Dover Motor Speedway this weekend for the second round of the ARCA Menards East Series Championship. Catch all of the action live on FloRacing at 5:30pm ET. 



March 24, 2023 (Concord, NC) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) has announced a new addition to their 2023 driver roster; 20 year old driver Regina Sirvent. Sirvent has signed on with Venturini Motorsports for a limited schedule of races during the 2023 season.

Sirvent, from Mexico City, Mexico, has already established herself as a rising star in the world of motorsports. In 2020, she raced in the NASCAR Mexico Truck Series where she became the first Hispanic woman to win a NASCAR international race. She finished the season in the top three of the drivers championship and then made her stockcar debut through NASCAR Drive for Diversity. 

More recently, she showcased her exceptional race craft in the 2022 season in which she competed full time in NASCAR Mexico while also taking on late model races. She was able to secure three top-three finishes during her stint in late models (Hickory, Tri-County, and Florence). Her talents were best showcased at Hickory Motor Speedway after starting in the rear, she was able to fight her way up to third place. 

With dreams of becoming the first Mexican woman in the NASCAR Cup Series, Sirvent is eager to take on the ARCA Menards Series with Venturini Motorsports. “I have seen a lot of the cup drivers go through Venturini Motorsports. They will help to improve my weaknesses and develop my strengths so I can progress as a driver” explained Sirvent. 

Striving to improve in every area of her field, in addition to growing her racing career, Sirvent is simultaneously a full time student pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Technology Innovation. 

Sirvent will be taking on a challenging slate of races at a variety of tracks that will be new to her. Venturini Motorsports, a Toyota Development Program, will be providing the resources needed to excel at this level and further expand her racing resume.

“I’m excited about joining the Toyota and Venturini Motorsports family. I will be working closely with them during the weeks on their simulators and all of the nutrition, performance, mental health, and karting programs they have to offer. My goal is to strengthen all areas to be able to give my best in every race. I know that this will not be easy, it will require commitment and sacrifices, but I am ready to face every situation with the best attitude so that I can learn and grow towards my goal” remarked Sirvent.

Announcements from Venturini Motorsports regarding sponsorship and race schedule will follow at a later date. 

The Come Back Kid! Christian Eckes Crowned ARCA Menards Series Champion after Dramatic Win in Kansas Finale

Friday night’s ARCA Menards Series championship race between Venturini Motorsports’ teammates Christian Eckes (No.15 JBL Toyota) and Michael Self (No.25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) at Kansas Speedway will go down as an instant classic.

Living up to the event’s pre-race hype Christian Eckes delivered a masterful performance after all seemed lost.  Eckes, who once again had to overcome adversity, drove to victory lane and was crowned the series’ 2019 champion after an epic heavy weight battle filled with all the excitement and drama one could hope and expect.

After engine issues during qualifying forced Eckes’ JBL Audio Toyota team to change motors, the 18-year old driver was forced to start from the rear of the field, while Self qualified second and started from the outside front row.

Self, jumping out to the lead on the first lap would dominate the first 57 circuits of the scheduled 100-lap event. But on the restart after the races second caution of the night Eckes took away the lead and drove away.

“The day didn’t go smoothly at all,” said the Middletown, NY native. “We had an engine problem in qualifying and the guys had to change it an hour before the race. We started at the back and we were in the top ten in five laps. The car was on a rail all night.”

Eckes night wasn’t smooth, and neither was his entire season.

After taking the championship lead after the second race of the season, at Five Flags Speedway, Eckes fell ill and was hospitalized the night before the third race of the year at Salem Speedway. He missed the race, giving up the points lead to teammate Self.

Eckes and his Kevin Reed-led team were tenacious throughout the summer and fall, closing the gap by finishing the final seven races second or better before retaking the lead two weeks ago at Lucas Oil Raceway. This was Eckes’s fourth win of the season.

Eckes became the first series champion since Tim Steele in 1996 to miss a race en route to the championship.

“We even missed a race,” Eckes said in disbelief in victory lane. “The entire season has been filled with drama and we are still here. It’s absolutely incredible.”

Self, who finished second, did all he could do to turn the tables on his Venturini Motorsports teammate. He jumped out to the lead at the start and led the first 57 laps, locking up five bonus points for leading a lap and by the halfway point clinching an additional five bonus points for leading the most laps.

“Second sucks,” Self said after visiting Eckes in victory lane. “I am thankful to have the opportunity to come and race for a championship. We won four times but we had a lot of ups and downs. I wish it would have turned out differently but I am really happy for Christian and the Venturini team. I just wish it played out in our favor tonight.”

Eckes’ championship victory was VMS’ 14th win of the 20-race season and put an exclamation point on a dream season for the long time ARCA team. Eckes finished 25 points ahead of Self in the final ARCA Menards Series championship standings.

Adding to the team’s history making night in Kansas, the No.20 Toyota team led by Billy Venturini, captured the Series’ Owner Championship, giving the organization their first title since Bill Venturini won the 1991 driver championship

The ARCA Menards Series racing season is now complete, with the next event on the calendar the annual Championship Awards Banquet held at the Indiana State Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, in conjunction with the annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, set for Saturday December 14.