Before the start of the 2020 season, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. hadn’t raced for points in any series since he was runner-up in the ACT Late Model Tour standings back in 2015. After having no plans to change that going into this year, he now finds himself in the thick of the championship battle with the Granite State Pro Stock Series, a series he had just three career starts in before this year.
The New Hampshire driver holds a slim two-point edge over Ray Christian III with three races left in the season. In a season full of uncertainty, it has led him to go after a second touring series championship in his career.
“We weren’t really planning on running for points in the beginning of the year, but just the way this year’s been and no one knew when the next race was going to be toward the beginning of the year, we’ve been running all the Granite State Pro Stock races and it’s been a tight battle between myself, Ray Christian III and Angelo Belsito,” Polewarczyk told Speed51’s “The Bullring.” “There are only three races left so we’re going to hit those three races.”
“Joey Pole” is coming off his first win of the season in what was a surefire Race of the Year candidate. He and fellow Hudson, New Hampshire native Derek Griffith battled side-by-side for the final 17 laps of the event before he was able to edge out Griffith at the line for his fourth-career Granite State win.
“It was nuts, man, it was really crazy. Hats off to those guys, they’ve been great everywhere they’ve been. To go race with him like that head-to-head for 17 laps and I think we only touched one time, it means a lot. There’s a lot of respect and it’s just great. If I was a fan, that’s the kind of racing I’d want to see.”
The Granite State Pro Stock Series schedule sees Polewarczyk head to New London-Waterford Speedbowl for two of the last three races of the 2020 tilt. He has had success at the 1/3–mile, having scored three wins in ACT competition. However, this will be his first time at Waterford in a Super Late Model.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Waterford. We haven’t been there often; we’ve only been there a couple of times but we’re fortunate enough to win the last three ACT races we’ve ran there with the Late Models. I’ve never been there with a Super Late Model, but I love the track, I love the layout. I know that’s Ray(Christian III)’s home track, it’s right there in his backyard so he’s going to be tough.”
The Granite State season may not also spell the end of the 2020 racing season for Polewarczyk, whose team is contemplating a trip south for a Super Late crown jewel event during “Big Race Season.” While they have yet to decide on which race or even if they will make the trip, he does have one race on his mind.
“I’d like to venture out, at least pick one race down south to where we can go do and give it a shot. That would be a lot of fun, we just got to figure out which one to do. I’d like to make a run at the Snowball Derby, I know that’s the toughest one around but that’s where drivers from the country come for one race because that’s the only thing going on in December. It’s a big race to go to and it’s a commitment for sure.”
Before that decision has to be made, Polewarczyk still has a championship to win in the Northeast. Only a pair of points separate him and Christian, while Angelo Belsito sits just 38 back of the lead. Championship or not, he is excited for what lies ahead with the Granite State Pro Stock Series.
“It’s going to come right down to it, I’m sure. It’s exciting, I haven’t run for points in almost five years and we weren’t really planning on it but now that we’re right down to the end of it, it’s getting excited for sure.”
Click here to watch a replay of Monday’s episode of “The Bullring.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo