For the past two years, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. has made the trek to Seekonk Speedway in July for the U.S. Pro Stock/Super Late Model National Championship with a car capable of brining home the $10,000 winner’s prize. But in each of the last two years, disaster has struck.
For 2018, the driver known as “Joey Pole” will settle for nothing less than victory.
“We’re ready to go, just getting the car ready to race. We’ve been close a couple of times so hopefully the third time’s the charm,” Polewarczyk told Speed51.com.
Whether it was the minor contact with Eddie MacDonald that had a big effect on the handling of his No. 97 in 2017 or bursting into flames while leading with eight laps to go in 2016, “Lady Luck” hasn’t been on Pole’s side at this particular race. He’s hoping that will change Wednesday night when he returns to the track.
“Two years ago was a night that race car drivers dream about,” Polewarczyk began. “Having the fastest car in practice, getting the pole, and basically leading all the laps until eight to go. Even though that was a tough one to swallow, it was still awesome to have such a good car. Last year we led the whole first half, then we started sixth after the invert, got back up to the lead, but our hard racing with Eddie MacDonald, it bent the left-front shock and knocked a bump-stop out, and the car didn’t handle well after that. At least we’ve been competitive each time, hopefully we can keep that up.”
Despite racing just four previous times in 2018, it has already been a memorable season for Joey Pole, still riding high on his victory at Vermont’s Thunder Road in the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) portion of the Memorial Day Classic. Despite a bumpy outing at Beech Ridge last Saturday, he feels that the No. 97 is one of the top cars in New England.
“I’ve only driven in four races this year, but we’ve had strong runs each and every time we’ve been out. Oxford we finished sixth, at Star we had a good car and finished third, and of course at Thunder Road we came back and got the win. Everyone is having fun and we’re looking forward to this race.”
Joey Pole is not just anxious at getting a shot to redeem himself, but once again proving himself against the best Super Late Model and Pro Stock drivers in the Northeast.
“It was one of the first we wanted to do when we put together our racing schedule,” he stated. “It’s a great event that they are paying $10,000 to win, and Seekonk is one of the more fun tracks that we get to race on. We’re going to have good cars and drivers, it should make for a great show. You’ll have guys like Reid Lanpher, Eddie MacDonald, Derek Griffith, the Seekonk guys like David Darling and Tom Scully. It’s going to be a tight field.”
This time around, Joey Pole doesn’t care how many laps he leads, just as long as he leads the last one.
“I don’t know if we’ll have a car like two years ago, but we’re going to go in there and get the car handling well. We’re not going to worry about leading all the laps, we’re going to focus on being there at the end. We’ve dominated the first half, we need to switch it to the second half. That $10,000 goes a long way in short track racing world and I want to be the one to get it this year.”
Race fans unable to make it to Seekonk Wednesday night will be able to watch Joey Pole via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com. Live video tickets can be purchased today for $24.99 by clicking here.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com