PHOTO: Brian Hoar (#37) would love nothing more than to beat Joey Polewarczyk (#97) for a victory at Waterford Speedbowl on Sunday. (Leif Tillotson photo)
WATERFORD, Conn. — Brian Hoar heads to the final American-Canadian Tour event of the year this weekend knowing his fate. He’ll walk across an awards banquet stage in January as the guest of honor, the series’ champion for the seventh time.
When the No. 37 GossCars.com/RPM Racing Engines team pulls into Waterford Speedbowl this weekend, Hoar and car owner Rick Paya will have nothing to lose. Their ACT Late Model Tour championship was sealed up last month at Airborne Speedway. The team has three wins and eleven podium finishes this year. On paper, there’s no reason to push the envelope.
Problem is, Hoar doesn’t race on paper. He won’t be done fighting until the checkered flag falls in Connecticut on Sunday.
Since Hoar’s last win at Quebec’s Circuit Riverside Speedway, he and everyone else have been beaten three times each by Patrick Laperle and Joey Polewarczyk. In his last six races, Hoar has been second to Polewarczyk twice, including the most recent event at Waterford in August and in last week’s Milk Bowl at Thunder Road.
So what does Hoar have to do to beat Polewarczyk this weekend?
“Everything but wreck him,” he says.
Hoar is not only going to Waterford with the intentions of beating Polewarczyk and everyone else, he wants to bury them. The Williston veteran will bring a brand new chassis that has only raced once — at New Hampshire Motor Speedway three weeks ago — and says he isn’t leaving anything on the table.
“I can’t go into winter with [Polewarczyk] having beaten me three races in a row,” says Hoar. “I’m going to work my [butt] off to win, just like I have at every race this year.”
Hoar has a strong record at Waterford: In two ACT starts the 1/3-mile shoreline oval, he has a win and a runner-up finish, and he finished third once in the former NASCAR Busch North Series there.
Hoar said a setup adjustment between the first and second segments of the Milk Bowl cost him a shot at the win, but allow his team that one mistake. They’ve done practically everything else right all season; Hoar hasn’t finished worse than eighth in any of his 16 starts this year, and that lone eighth-place finish was thanks to a last-lap shove out of the top five by a fellow driver at Twin State Speedway.
Hoar — who, again, had six ACT championships before this year — even goes so far to say that 2010 has been the best season of his 20-year career.
‘No question this is my best year,’ he said. ‘I won five races one year that I won the championship, but I’ve never had a season where I can honestly say that it was this good. Never in my history have I either led laps or been up front in every single race all year. My average finish in 3.3, I started keeping track once I realized how well the year started and it just kept going. I could never ask for more from this team.’
As strange as it sounds, Hoar has kind of enjoyed getting beat on the track recently.
‘Getting spanked these last few weeks by Patrick and Joey I think has been good for us, it keeps it real and gives us a goal to beat them,’ he said. We’re bringing our new car to Waterford and if we go out and really dominate, it’s because we’re ready. There’s really no points on the line because that’s over, so we just want to go out and win.’