(VIDEO) The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America - 2022
Aug 5, 2022
"He raced me like a grown man."
Connor Hall won the Throwback 276 battle with William Sawalich on Friday night, but the veteran came away impressed with what transpired between himself and the youngster at Hickory Motor Speedway,
Sawalich led a majority of the race in a Setzer Racing Development No. 43 wrapped in the spirit of Richard Petty’s 200th victory but gradually lost the lead in lapped traffic. Hall, sporting a No. 99 in reverential emulation of Dick Trickle, increased the pace with 25 laps to go and started to inch closer to the lead.
Hall caught him inside of 10 laps to go, but the contenders spent the next five laps literally exchanging bump and runs and door slams before Hall drove off to the win.
Ultimately, no one spun and the two could smile about it and shake hands after the race, coming away with more respect for each other as a result of their battle for the win.
"You've got to know who you're racing and William has a lot of talent," Hall said. "Obviously, he's got great car control. I hope William thinks the same on my end.
"It was gloves off, ready to rock, with 15 laps to go. Really physical race, really the most physical race I've been in in a long time. I said gloves off, but it was as clean as possible. I'm impressed over all that it went that well because I wondered if either of us would cross the stripe when we first started it."
In fact, after crossing the scales in tech, Hall had asked his team if he thought the Setzer and Sawalich guys were mad at him.
"I think they are."
In fact, Sawalich said he learned a lot from the exchange with Hall and came away a better racer because of it.
"I think we both paid each other back," Sawalich said. "There were several nudges, maybe sometimes too hard, but it was good hard racing. I'm happy to come home second."
Hall walked over to Sawalich at the tech shed and told him how impressed he was with the car control displayed. Sawalich thanked him for the hard battle and they laughed and smiled about it. Again, Hall came away impressed.
"I just didn't know a lot about him as a person, seen him at the race track and know he's young compared to me," Hall said. "I said, 'I'm no trying to give you any second place consolation or anything but I wasn't even in Legends at your age so I'm really impressed that he raced that way with the grown-ups.' They were the class of the field, and not that I'm the old wise guy, but it's just good to see there's young talent that can get it done the old-fashioned way.
"We were gloves off and ready to go. Never once was I worried, I joked about it, but really thinking 'this kid is going to wreck me.'"
"I was honestly hoping something would happen," Honeycutt said. "I was hoping for a caution and then I wasn't because if they didn't wreck, and someone else did, we would have gotten screwed, I think.
"They raced each other as clean as they could, or at least I thought so from my seat, and they were just better than us."
Ultimately, Sawalich said the race was lost in lapped traffic and that's how Hall successfully closed the gap.
Hall was able to close to within 30 points of Carson Kvapil for the championship lead but isn't thinking about it with seven races left.
"I don't know, everyone keeps asking me about it but I kind of put that out of my mind after running out of gas at Caraway and Greenville, but it would be nice. We're going to keep on trying to win races and if we can't catch Carson, I really respect those guys. I like Carson and they're the guys to beat right now."
CARS Late Model Tour Throwback 276
Hickory Motor Speedway
August 5 2022