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Experience, Momentum Lead Polewarczyk into Airborne

Posted By Tj Ingerson On July 17, 2013

Categories: American-Canadian Tour

Waddell CommunicationsJoey Polewarczyk Jr. and his Joe Polewarczyk Sr.-led team are rolling into Airborne Park Speedway for the ACT International 500 with a ton of momentum after three straight wins on the ACT Late Model Tour. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)PHOTO: Joey Polewarczyk Jr. and his Joe Polewarczyk Sr.-led team are rolling into Airborne Park Speedway for the ACT International 500 with a ton of momentum after three straight wins on the ACT Late Model Tour. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)

--by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
VMM Editor

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. --
The hottest driver on the ACT Late Model Tour is going to the ACT International 500 with momentum on his side.

Fresh off three straight wins and a run from 18th to 5th, Joey Polewarczyk Jr. is headed into the biggest race of the year with no pressure and a ton of momentum.

“We’re putting a lot of focus into (the ACT International 500), especially now that we have some momentum to build off of,” Polewarczyk said. “The biggest thing is we don’t have to worry about points, and nothing is going to be left on the line. I would like to be a fan next week, but it’s going to be even better to be a driver.”

The 24-year-old driver will enter the “Milk Bowl style” three 100-lap segment event at Airborne Park Speedway as a former winner at the half-mile oval and the Milk Bowl.

“The segment races, when I first came here, took me a little while to get used to,” Polewarczyk explained. “Guys don’t wait around; they go. If you just want to take a breath for a lap, you’re going to have cars on the inside and outside of you.

“It definitely helps that we’ve done that before and figured it out. I think it’s going to be a little bit different (than the Milk Bowl) because (Airborne) is a bigger track; you have more time to set up a pass.”

The Hudson, N.H., driver knows it will be a no-holds-barred event where a driver will earn every position they obtain.

“My look on it is if they want to ride, they can, but I’m not going to,” said Polewarczyk. “We didn’t have as many Canadians (in May), and now, we’re going to have Patrick (Laperle), (Donald) Theetge, and all those guys who run really well up there.

“You can’t (ride). It’s Milk Bowl style. If you don’t take that position when you can, you don’t know if you’re going to get another opportunity to take that spot. It’s good (to ride) when you’re running a long distance race, but 100 laps is going to go by quick. You just have to go; there isn’t going to be any riding.

“And that’s what is so good about having it at Airborne. You can to go the top and you can go to the bottom. You have those long straightaways. I think it’s going to be exciting.”

The reigning TD Bank Oxford 250 champion did not announce his plans for where he would be on Sunday, July 21 until just a few weeks ago.

“We like the 250, every racer does,” Polewarczyk explained. “But the more you think about it, (the ACT International 500) has the makings to be more exciting. The 250 is a great race; it’s 250 straight laps, and the best car usually wins. But that’s not necessarily going to be the case at Airborne.

“The smartest driver and the one who can be aggressive, and not aggressive, is probably going to be the one who wins this one; the driver who can come through traffic the best and make the moves.”

The level of competition at Airborne is something that Polewarczyk knows will be tough to beat, especially if the top drivers are headed into the final 100-lap segment close in the overall standings.

“I think it’s going to be pretty cool if we’re all within a couple of points of each other,” Polewarczyk said. “We’ve had some good battles (at Airborne) in the past. I remember in 2011 when we were three-wide with 15-laps to go with Brian (Hoar), Wayne (Helliwell Jr.), and Laperle. There are no points involved, and people are going to let it all out on the line a little bit more.”

Polewarczyk believes it’ll be a packed house on Sunday at Airborne, and that he’ll have the best seat in the house.

“I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by how many cars are going to be there,” Polewarczyk said. “I think it’s going to be one of the best things around.

“I’d like to be a fan next week, but it’s going to be even better to be a driver.”

The ACT International 500 heat race qualifying will begin at 1:00pm on Sunday, July 21.