Northern Points: New Attitude For Joey Polewarczyk

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By Travis Barrett – RaceDayCT Northbound Editor

Northern Points 289On the surface, it looks like winning the 2014 ACT Late Model Tour championship changed Joey Polewarczyk Jr.’s approach to a new season. And you know what? The Hudson, N.H., driver said you’d be absolutely correct to make that assumption.

“Honest to God, it’s way diferent than it’s ever been for me,” said Polewarczyk, who won his second ACT race of the season in four starts on Sunday, grabbing the checkered flag in the Spring Green 115 at Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

“Right from my first year (with the Tour) when I was 15 or 16 years old, everyone was expecting big things from me right away. They looked at us and said, ‘There’s a great team, a championship team,’ but it never happened that way. I was able to win races, win some big races, but I never put that championship season together. Every year, I put a lot of pressure on myself.”

This season, Polewarczyk’s putting the pressure on everyone else. He won the season-opening event at Oxford Plains Speedway last month, and he led 54 laps Sunday — including the final 34 — en route to the victory. Polewarczyk has led a series-best 204 laps through the first four races of the season, and he’s in sole possession of fourth on ACT’s all-time win list.

Dating back to the end of last season, the driver of car No. 97 has won four of the last six ACT events.

“Anytime you can start up front, it’s a big help,” said Polewarczyk, who started third in the Spring Green 115. “It’s so much easier on the car — in any division you race in, really, but especially with these cars. They’re not as forgiving as some other cars. This was sort of a short race this weekend. That was my outlook. It was only 115 laps, so I didn’t save anything. I just went hard right from the start.”

Polewarczyk took the lead for the first time on Lap 25, and he surrendered it to Quebec’s Patrick Laperle briefly following a Lap 44 restart. But he kept plugging away and plugging away on the bottom of the half-mile race track, and he finally was able to clear Laperle for good on Lap 82 and pull away to the win by a margin of 1.750 seconds.

The ACT Late Model Tour heads to Speedway 51 (formerly Riverside Speedway) in Groveton, N.H., on Saturday, May 30.


Former JR Motorsports development driver Reid Lanpher of Manchester, Maine, turned an impromptu trip to Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday into a welcome trip to Victory Lane that night.

Lanpher started 16th in a 20-car Super Late Model field and worked his way to the front, taking the lead with three laps remaining in the 50-lap feature.

“It felt amazing to roll into that place with no expectations and leave with a win,” Lanpher said. “It was a big eye-opener for me and my team to realize just how capable we are.”

Lanpher made the late decision to head to Oxford after wrapping up a practice day at nearby Beech Ridge Motor Speedway earlier in the afternoon. The victory was nice — it was Lanpher’s first in a Super Late Model at Oxford — but it was really a tune-up for his main focus.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Beech Ridge begins this Saturday.

“This will give us the confidence we needed headed into the start of the season at Beech Ridge,” said Lanpher, who finished second in the final point standings as a rookie at the track in 2014.


Newmarket, N.H., PASS North Series driver Bryan Kruczek is enjoying a strong start to his season, thanks to a winter overhaul of his Super Late Model program.

Kruczek, who scored his first PASS victory in 28 starts in the Southern Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep 150 at Beech Ridge on May 2, finished fourth in the Frameco 150 at Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee-Jonction, Que., Sunday. Kruczek has a pair of Top-5s and three Top-10s in four races in 2015.

“It means everything,” Kruczek said after winning at Beech Ridge. “We’ve always run some old, old stuff. This winter threw everything at it and we put this new car together. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

DRIVER DEVELOPMENT: Reigning Beech Ridge Motor Speedway NASCAR champion Dave Farrington, Jr., of Jay, Maine, is one of seven drivers nationwide competing as part of the Alan Kulwicki Driver Development Program this season.

The seven drivers are competing for the Kulwicki Cup — and a winner’s share of more than $54,000 — through a modified points system that tabulates on-track results, social media engagement and community involvement.

Farrington is one of only two drivers residing on the East Coast and the only one from New England.

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