You’ve seen it played repeatedly on Speed51.com during the last 12 months; the epic finish of the 2016 U.S. Pro Stock/Super Late Model National Championship at Seekonk Speedway (MA) which became an instant jaw-dropping viral sensation. But it would not have occurred if it had not been for another jaw-dropping moment just a few laps earlier when New Hampshire’s Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. had his car erupt in flames while leading by a wide margin with just under 10 laps to go.
With the second U.S. Pro Stock/Super Late Model National Championship just days away on Wednesday night, “Joey Pole” is ready to return to the “Cement Palace” and chase the one that got away.
“We were really good there last year; the car was going along. Seekonk has always been one of my favorite tracks, we got our first ever win on the ACT Tour there. It means a lot to me and obviously with the way the race ended last year, we’ve been waiting a year to go back,” Polewarczyk told Speed51.com powered by JEGS Monday afternoon.
The quest for the $10,000 check on Wednesday comes on the heels of a major victory for Polewarczyk and the No. 97 team last Saturday at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) in PASS North competition. Not only is it the first win for Joey Pole in 2017, but it snapped a streak of bad luck and gave the team some much needed momentum.
“It really, really, really does,” he said emphatically. “With the way our year has been going up until last Saturday, it was just bad luck. We’ve been fast, we’d have good cars, things would just happen that were our out of our control, and it just hadn’t been going well. When you have a run like we had at Beech Ridge Saturday it brings emotions up, confidence back up and we’re firing on all cylinders right now. This is going to be a good race to be amped up for.”
The field coming together appears to be as strong, if not stronger than last year, with Seekonk home track stars, New England touring drivers and a few Southern ringers making up the entries. Polewarczyk feels that they should match up nicely once again.
“I think so, the Seekonk regulars are always tough like Dave Darling and Tom Scully, all those guys are tough to beat there, they got the home track advantage. Then you got guys like Travis Benjamin and Derek Griffith, Fathead is coming up from down south. It’s going to be a stacked field; it’s going to be a nice car count, with $10,000 to win it draws all the people. It’s going to be a lot of competition, but if we can just stay focused on what we got to do, and have a car like we had last year, we’ll have as good a shot as anybody.”
The No. 97 team does not plan on letting off if they get out of Seekonk in one piece, as they will be heading to Star Speedway the very next night to try and make it two in a row on the PASS North series.
“That’s the plan, as long as we don’t catch on fire or anything like that we should be good,” Polewarczyk said with a laugh. “Seekonk is a little bit different then PASS weight wise, tires and things like that. It takes a little bit of changing but it’s not too bad, and it’s only one week where it’s back to back during the week like that. It’s a lot of work, but we look forward to it. It breaks up a little bit from the norm; it’s a fun week.”
Another addition for this year’s race at Seekonk will be presence of Speed51 TV which will bring the race to all racing fans via a pay-per-view broadcast. Joey Pole knows he has plenty of his own fans in northern New England who will be watching, and encourages everyone who can’t make it in person, to watch and see what happens this year.
“It’s perfect. It’s a Wednesday night, the track will have a big crowd there, and the people getting home from work who are too far, like down South, it’s an exciting race to tune in for. Seekonk always puts on an exciting show. With $10,000 on the line, all these guys going for it, you don’t want to miss it.”
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com