It’s not uncommon for teams to travel from all across North America to the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing for nine nights of racing at New Smyrna Speedway. However, a pair of New York natives made the long drive to Florida for just one night of racing.
Joe Warren and C.J. Zukowski made the trek from New York to Florida to compete in the Bomber division at the World Series, a division only competing in a 20-lap feature on the opening night of the event.
“It took us about 20 hours to come,” Warren told Speed51. “20 hours for 20 laps.”
What could possibly make a team make that drive?
“A long winter. A long winter.”
The two drivers are both champions in their respective regions, and held their own against the collection of southeastern drivers in the Bomber field. Warren finished fourth while Zukowski finished sixth.
Warren started on the pole for the race after a six-car invert and led seven of the 20 laps in the feature.
“It feels good. We’re both track champions back in our hometown. I just don’t have enough motor to compete with these guys. They have some serious steam under the hood. The cars were good through the corners and everything. I just couldn’t get it down the straightaway enough.”
Zukowski started third but fell back as far as eighth after an issue on an early restart, but recovered all the way back to third place before another late restart dropped him to sixth.
“It was fun,” said Zukowski. “On the restart, my clutch pedal went hard and I couldn’t get it into third gear. I was just trying to catch back up and see what happens.
“When I was in the top three, I was happy. When the caution came out, I knew I was in trouble because of the clutch. We had fun, though.”
Warren echoed that fun was the name of the game, especially with both drivers able to mix it up for the win.
“It was fun. Everyone knew we were here. We were running up front, it’s not like we were running in the back or anything like that. I’m happy with the outcome.
With the trip already made, Warren and Zukowski were considering heading to Auburndale Speedway to continue their Florida racing adventure.
“I think we might go to Auburndale. We might go there tomorrow, depending on how we feel after tonight.”
Warren also firmly believes the duo will be back to New Smyrna Speedway for the World Series in 2022, looking to finish even higher and compete for the win once again.
“I think we’ll be back.”
Fans can follow Speed51’s on-location coverage presented by BMR Drivers Academy throughout the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. Updates from Friday’s racing are available on Race Day Now by clicking here. Fans can also enjoy all of Speed51.TV’s on-demand video content from the World Series with a free seven-day trial by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo / Zach Evans