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PR: Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.: TD Bank Oxford 250 Preview

- Justin St. Louis on 14 Jul 2010

(From team press release)

Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., of Hudson, N.H., returns to the event that put him squarely on New England's racing map with the 37th annual TD Bank Oxford 250 on Sunday, July 18, at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine. Polewarczyk has qualified for the last two TD Bank 250s, never starting worse than 12th on a grid of more than 40 cars in both 2008 and 2009. In his first career start in the event, Polewarczyk finished third behind winner and Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick in 2008. He has won a total of $9,700 in prize money over his two starts in the race. Oxford Plains Speedway has proven a special place for the No. 97 team, as two of Polewarczyk's four career ACT Late Model Tour victories have come at the track.

WHO: Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Hudson, N.H.
TEAM: No. 97 Pole's Automotive/NH Precision Ford Fusion
NO. OF OXFORD 250 STARTS: 2
BEST CAREER OXFORD 250 FINISH: 3rd (2008)
LAST OXFORD 250 FINISH: 15th (2009)


WHAT: 37th annual TD Bank Oxford 250
WHERE: Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine (.375-mile oval)
WHEN: Sunday, July 18 -- 2 p.m., Qualifying; 6:30 p.m., Race

TD Bank Oxford 250
PURSE: $25,000 to win; $100 per lap for leader
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass.

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JOEY, CAN YOU PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE JUST HOW IMPORTANT THE TD BANK OXFORD 250 IS?

It's huge. It's so big. It's just such a prestigious race. Just to say you've raced in the Oxford 250 is big, but to ever be able to say I had a podium finish in one of these races is the biggest thing on my resume -- bigger than any win in my career.

LAST YEAR, YOU WERE THE OVERWHELMING PRE-RACE FAVORITE TO WIN. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THAT EXPERIENCE?

It was pretty cool at the time having everyone pick me to win it, but there was definitely a lot more pressure on me because of it. I was talking to (2009 winner) Eddie MacDonald about it, because the year before he was everybody's favorite to win, and then last year I was but he went out and won. I remembered him saying to me that there was a lot of pressure, that there were a lot more people talking to you, a lot more people paying attention to everything you do.

I don't think I'll be the favorite this year. Eddie's definitely, definitely the favorite going into this year's race. Maybe it will be good for us not to be -- that way we can sneak up on everybody again.

HOW IS THIS RACE DIFFERENT FROM A TYPICAL 150-LAP ACT LATE MODEL TOUR RACE IN TERMS OF STRATEGY?

Two hundred and fifty laps is a long time. You've got to keep yourself relaxed, and you've got to save your equipment and not beat yourself up. The new (pit stop) rules have taken some stress off of people, too, because now you can come in and get all of your tires, get gas, and take your time to do it right.

You want to just get to the pit stop and be in good position, and then the last 100 laps you go out there and give it all you've got. It's the 250 -- you've got to leave everything on the line at the end.

HAS THE TRACK AT OXFORD PLAINS CHANGED AT ALL OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS?

It has, definitely. It used to be that you'd start on the bottom of the track and then by lap 75 or 80, everybody would start to move up to the outside. This year in the Tour races, it's like everyone is at the top right from lap one. The inside's just had no grip.

Two weeks ago we were there, though, and it was just like the old Oxford again. There were people running all over the place -- top and bottom -- the entire race. I was excited about that.

SEASON OPENERS

ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
Feb. 13/14, 2011
New Smyrna Speedway
New Smyrna Beach, FL

MODIFIED RACING SERIES
March 27, 2011
Waterford Speedbowl
Waterford, CT

PASS NORTH SUPER LATE MODELS
April 30, 2011
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
Scarborough, ME

SPRINT CARS OF NEW ENGLAND
2011 Schedule TBA

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