In his 12 years of American-Canadian Tour competition, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. has received little, if any, boos. But on Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME), a section of the grandstands filled the air with boos as Polewarczyk exited his car the winner of the American-Canadian Tour 150 at the 3/8-mile Maine oval.
After leading the first 112 laps of the 150 lap feature, Polewarczyk surrendered the lead to Brad Babb on lap 113. With 10 laps to go, Polewarczyk closed back in on the back bumper of Babb’s No. 15 and the battle intensified as they worked through lapped traffic.
On lap 146 with Babb leading the way, Polewarczyk stuck the nose of his No. 97NH to the inside of Babb on the frontstretch and the two made contact sending Babb up the track. After sliding through the turn, Babb lost control of his car before spinning and coming to a stop in turn two.
“He was doing what he had to do to try to win the race,” Polewarczyk told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I got underneath him there going into one and we touched and he tried to come down. There were four laps to go and you’ve got to go for the win especially with the championship battle that we’re locked into, every point counts. All I know is that I was underneath him and then he spun out.
“You know, I really, really hate it. It really hurts me inside that that happened because I’m friends with him. Hopefully we can get past it, but in the meantime this is a great win for us.”
After the race, Babb had a different view of the incident between himself and Polewarczyk.
“Only after he pushed me for a few hundred feet,” Babb said when asked if he thought there was a hole. “It was a great race right until the end there. There was no contact up until after I got by him and then there was plenty of contact.”
Following the initial contact between the two, Babb was pushed up into the second groove and appeared to come back down into Polewarczyk. He explained after the race that the contact in turn two was just a result of his car being out of control.
“I was just completely out of control at that point. I wasn’t trying to get back at him or anything. I was just so crossed up I couldn’t save the thing.”
Dillon Moltz, in just his third career ACT Late Model start, had his shot at Polewarczyk on the race’s final restart but came up just short and settled for second. Bobby Therrien, Jimmy Hebert and Wayne Helliwell, Jr. completed the top-five.
Unofficially, Polewarczyk’s win gives him a seven point lead over Helliwell in the tight championship standings.
As far as the boos after the race, Polewarczyk acknowledged it being different for him but said that he felt as though he still didn’t do anything wrong.
“That’s very different,” Polewarczyk said with a laugh. “But you know, deep down inside as a racer I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not a dirty driver and I never have been. But when you get underneath someone four or five times, you know there’s going to be contact. It probably would have been fine, but I’m not sure how it happened. I’m not sure how he spun out.”
51 Network highlights of Saturday night’s American-Canadian Tour event at Oxford Plains Speedway, including the incident between Polewarczyk and Babb, will be available in the coming days on Speed51.com
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
American-Canadian Tour 150 Unofficial Finish
Oxford Plains Speedway – July 25, 2015
|1||97NH||Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.||150|
|5||27NH||Wayne Helliwell, Jr.||150|
|7||28ME||Rowland Robinson, Jr.||150|
|16||07ME||Arthur Heino, Jr.||148|