Independence Day weekend travels may not have gone the way Andy Jankowiak had intended after striking out on racing in the State of New Hampshire twice on Saturday. Moving on to the weekend ahead, his sight has shifted back to home to New York State and the next round of the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series, which is set to roll at Oswego Speedway this coming Saturday, July 8.
Oswego is always on the eyes for the majority of the New York Mod Squad, especially those that know how to get around it, with Andy J falling into the list of drivers with the know-how.
“We always like going to Oswego it’s one of our favorites around here. It’s a neat track with a lot of history there,” Jankowiak told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We won on Classic weekend a few years ago, unless I do something pretty spectacular here, that’ll remain probably the best achievement of my career. Oswego has been good to us, the outside groove hasn’t been the best to us the past couple of years, so it’s more about just setting yourself up because it’s harder to move through traffic there than it is at other places. You just go in with a plan and try to execute, and by the end the fast cars make it to the front.”
Jankowiak finished runner-up to Bryan Sherwood at the “Steel Palace” back in May, one race after taking the season opener at Lancaster National Speedway (NY). Since that time, Andy J has been a model of consistency, coming into the weekend second in the RoC standing, just 12 points back from defending champion Patrick Emerling. It has been a solid performance so far for Jankowiak in his first season with rookie car owners Tom McGrath and Bud Dreher.
“We started out this year with a new team and whole new suspension, everything was new to me and to my car owners, they are first-time car owners,” he explained. “We kind of started from scratch and started out real strong with the first and second, then you’re going to have good weeks and bad weeks. We had a few bad weeks there, but we were able to make the bad weeks good. We’ve been in the top ten, finished every race and have tried to build forward from there. We learned a bit about the car every week and working with each other, I think we’ll keep getting stronger as we go.”
What makes the team’s accomplishments all the more impressive has been the upsurge from the rest of the competition in RoC, especially from the young gun drivers who have scored victory for the first time in their careers.
“It’s getting tougher, Skora, Sherwood, and Rypkema; they’ve all really stepped up their programs the last couple years. Tyler and Bryan got their wins and George’s win is coming. It’s cool, for a couple of years we’d go to a race and there’d be one or two cars that we had to beat and we’d have a shot at winning it. Now there’s ten good cars now that you wouldn’t be surprised to see in victory lane if things go their way. It’s good, it makes for some great racing, the car counts are picking up, but even when we were down on car counts, we weren’t down on competition with all the cars capable of running up front.”
Follow all the racing action from Oswego Speedway this Saturday on Speed51.com’s Trackside Now, and get race highlights on the Speed51 Network early next week.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos