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Sawalich Wins Guitar, Majeski Wins Title in Dramatic All American 400

William Sawalich avoided a multi-car incident to win the 39th All American 400, while Majeski soldiered on to the inaugural ASA STARS National Tour championship.


hero image for Sawalich Wins Guitar, Majeski Wins Title in Dramatic All American 400

On a dramatic afternoon in the Music City, William Sawalich won the All American 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway while Ty Majeski persevered to the inaugural ASA STARS National Tour championship.

Sawalich was running in the eighth position on lap 212 when the entire complexion of the Super Late Model crown jewel event changed. On a restart one lap prior, a stack-up resulting from a slow start by Michael Hinde led to heavy contact between Albert Francis and Cole Butcher, with Butcher suffering considerable front-end damage.

While all of the cars involved continued and Butcher made his way to pit road at a reduced speed, Butcher’s car left a trail of fluid in turns one and two.

On the ensuing lap, Majeski led the field into the corner and spun in the fluid, along with the next six cars in the running order behind him. In all, six drivers retired from the event following the incident, while Sawalich moved into the top spot as the first car to emerge from the incident unscathed.

When the race restarted, Sawalich led the remaining 88 laps, returning Donnie Wilson Motorsports to victory lane in the event six years after Wilson himself scored the signature guitar trophy.

“The Donnie Wilson group gave me a really fast Toyota Camry,” said Sawalich in victory lane. “I didn’t really think the car was going to be that good in the long run. We were struggling early in the race for grip, but Bond got me tightened up.

“We got a little lucky that those cars had a pile up there, but either way, I think we had the best car here.”

The All American 400 victory is another chapter in a memorable season for Sawalich, including an ARCA Menards Series East championship. On Friday, Sawalich won the ARCA Menards Series West finale at Phoenix Raceway before heading east to Nashville.

“Really cool,” Sawalich said about his season. “A lot of cool trophies, and now I get that guitar.”

The major storyline going into the race was the championship battle between Majeski and Butcher. Majeski had entered the weekend with an eight point advantage, but Butcher gained three points during qualifying on Saturday.

Butcher led the first six laps of the race, but a flat tire brought Butcher to pit road and cost him four laps in spite of a caution when he spun trying to maintain control of his car.

This gave the championship battle the feel of a foregone conclusion until the lap 212 melee. While many teams were unable to repair the damage from the incident, Majeski and his team were under pressure to get back on track and seal the championship.

They did just that, getting the No. 91 on track in time for the restart. While he was considerably off the pace and lost five laps to the leaders, Majeski soldiered on to an 11th place finish, unofficially winning the title by 32 points.

Majeski hoped to end a title-winning season with a win in one of the most historic races in the discipline, so there was naturally disappointment in losing that opportunity due to circumstances out of his control.

“It’s just disappointing,” said Majeski. “We felt like we had a car that maybe could have won a big crown jewel race, right? The championship is the championship, but we wanted to win today and do both.”

Nonetheless, Majeski took solace and pride in his team’s ability to get the car back on track to wrap up the first championship in ASA STARS National Tour history.

“I’m super happy to have this opportunity and thankful to have the opportunity to race these great Late Models with some of my best friends,” said Majeski. “We’ve been doing this together for a long time. It’s fun going to the racetrack knowing you have a chance to win every time out. That’s where I feel our program is at.

“It’s really bittersweet today. Hopefully that mistake doesn’t get made again. We tore up a lot of great race cars and robbed the fans of a great race between a lot of great cars. Hopefully we can come back, run some more of these races and find ourselves in victory lane some more.”

Butcher also returned to the race track following his involvement in the lap 211 stack-up, but eventually parked his Wilson Motorsports entry after completing 211 laps.

“It was unfortunate,” said Butcher. “I think we had a decent car, but once we got that flat, we were done. Congratulations to the 91 crew. Definitely not how anyone wanted this thing to end.”

“That’s why they’re one of the best, if not the best. Thank you to them. We’ll go on to the Derby.”

Another driver who will be going on to the Snowball Derby is the race’s winner one year ago, Derek Thorn. Thorn finished second in the All American 400, his third runner-up finish in seven starts.

“The team never gave up,” said Thorn. “We were dropping like a rock early on. We’ve had some good days turn out unlucky real quick here. Today was a bad day for us, but turned lucky with a lot of the incidents.”

A local favorite, Michael House, finished third for his best career finish in the Super Late Model portion of All American weekend.

“This is our first Super Late Model race this year,” said House. “We’ve been running Pro. To come out here, finish third, bring it home in one piece and have something for the Derby is unreal.

“We had a good run last year but didn’t have the finish we deserved. I feel like there was quite a few wrecks today, and we were able to avoid them. We made a few adjustments in the pits and built a bigger notebook.”

Willie Allen finished fifth, with Dustin Smith, Jake Finch, Billy VanMeter, Logan Bearden and Jacob Goede rounding out the top 10 finishers.

-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America


12William Sawalich300---
27TDerek Thorn3005.070
31Michael House3006.132
414Austin Nason3008.479
526AWillie Allen3009.365
633SDustin Smith30016.985
751FJake Finch30017.851
823Billy VanMeter2991 Lap
966Logan Bearden2973 Laps
1072Jacob Goede2964 Laps
1191Ty Majeski2955 Laps
1228DTJ Duke2946 Laps
1398Josh Hicks2937 Laps
1458Johnny Aramendia2937 Laps
1544MTommy Joe Martins2919 Laps
1669Michael Hinde28119 Laps
1729Hunter Wright27723 Laps
184Luke Fenhaus25842 Laps
1935Jake Garcia24555 Laps
2033FAlbert Francis22278 Laps
215FTy Fredrickson22278 Laps
2228BCole Butcher22179 Laps
2326PBubba Pollard21288 Laps
2444DJeremy Doss21288 Laps
2551NStephen Nasse21288 Laps
2622Gio Ruggiero21288 Laps
2715RJordon Riddick21288 Laps
2818Chase Burda21288 Laps
2954Matt Craig191109 Laps
3071Johnny Brazier133167 Laps
317BJackson Boone96204 Laps
3247KAllen Karnes19281 Laps
335SJohnny Sauter14286 Laps
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