Touring Series News
Polewarczyk “Fastest” In Morning ACT Practice
PHOTO: Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., was unofficially fastest in ACT practice on Saturday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)
Sylvania 300 weekend coverage presented by New England Dirt Track Championships and Subway of VT/NH
LOUDON, N.H. -- Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., got off to a good start on Saturday morning by unofficially posting the fastest lap time in practice for the American-Canadian Tour Invitational.
Polewarczyk, of Hudson, N.H., turned an unofficial lap time of 31.44 seconds. Official ACT timing and scoring was not set up on Saturday morning, but reports from around the ACT pit area all pointed to Polewarczyk as the fastest.
“It’s good, man. We put the new tires on and went out there, and the track has a lot of grip right now,” said Polewarczyk. “It’s not just these cars, everyone is breaking records this weekend. I went out there and I really wanted to see what the car would do. I drove it in past the 1 and got on it before the Lenox sign and it stuck. I didn’t believe it when I heard that lap, either, but man, that’s a fast lap.”
Polewarczyk backed his run up with two laps in the 31.5-second bracket, too.
Reportedly, defending ACT Invitational winner Eddie MacDonald, 2010 ACT champion Brian Hoar, and Patrick Laperle each broke into the 31.7-second bracket during the 30-minute morning session.
--Polewarczyk says the outside lane is where his car works the best, while John Donahue’s car works best on the bottom. However, neither driver thinks that the ACT drivers, who have now become more comfortable -- and therefore racier -- in their second season at New Hampshire, will be able to use the “slide job” technique employed by drivers on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and other series.
The “slide job” is a dive-bomb type of pass in which the driver on the inside lane stays in the throttle through corner entry and slides in front of the driver on the outside lane. While a seemingly popular maneuver in the Modifieds, it is highly criticized by drivers of all series.
Both Polewarczyk and Donahue say that because the ACT cars have a much narrower and less forgiving tire than the Modifieds and less horsepower to complete such a pass, trying the move is a dangerous technique and would almost certainly create a crash.
--New Hampshire racers Quinny Welch and Wayne Helliwell, Jr., are each on a bit of a momentum wave entering today’s ACT Invitational. Welch won Friday night’s 50-lap Late Model feature at White Mountain Motorsports Park for his seventh win of the year, and Helliwell won his ninth of the season at Lee USA Speedway.
--ACT and NASCAR alum Dave Dion has been spotted around the pit area. Helliwell’s car is painted orange and numbered 27 in tribute to Dion’s dominant Fords of the 1970s. Helliwell’s car owner is Bruce Bernhardt, a long-time Dion crewmember.
--There’s a recurring theme in the pits, as no less than three cars have themes promoting cancer awareness. Maine driver Ricky Rolfe, who is currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer, has a decal on his car for The Patrick Dempsey Center For Cancer Hope & Healing. Rolfe says he bring his car to a Dempsey event in Lewiston, Me., in two weeks, “if the car survives today.”
Brian Hoar’s car -- as always -- carries a decal for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, as his wife is a survivor of the illness.
Jamie Fisher’s car steals the show, however, as it has been painted entirely pink and adorned with the logos of the S.D. Ireland Cancer Reseach Fund.
--In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Todd Bodine’s crew chief, Mike Hillman, Jr., is back at New Hampshire Motor Speedway today after suffering an injury during Friday’s K&N Pro Series East event. Hillman, who was serving as a tire carrier for driver Miguel Paludo, was struck by the car of Zach Germain -- whose father co-owns Bodine’s Truck team -- breaking three bones and tearing ligaments in his right leg. Hillman will reportedly need surgery to repair the injury, but coached Bodine’s team to a fourth-place qualifying effort this morning.