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

EAST MONTPELIER – Emily Packard’s team will have a new look in 2016.

The East Montpelier, Vt. driver and team have teamed up with Joey Pole Racing that will see the former championship winning team maintain the No. 9ME Northstar Fireworks/Packard Fuels ACT Late Model in 2016.

“This is a big change for me,” Packard stated in a press release. “I have spent the last seven years working with my previous crew chief, and now with this deal, we start with a clean slate.”

The 2014 ACT Late Model Tour champion Joey Polewarczyk Jr. announced during the offseason that he will be stepping away from the full-time driving role in 2016, instead forming a driver development program. The team has tabbed Ryan Olsen, son of the two-time NASCAR East Series champion Mike Olsen and great-grandson of the late Stub Fadden, to drive for Joey Pole Racing in 2016.

“Our main focus is with Ryan, but we will be helping setup Emily’s cars and offer our input at the race track,” Joe Polewarczyk Sr. said. “We are very excited at this opportunity. Ever since Emily has come on the scene, Joey and I have been watching her and believe that she is a force to be reckoned with.

“She’s ready to win and we hope to help build her confidence this year.”

“I’ve known Emily for a while now and I am excited to get this chance,” Polewarczyk Jr. said. “She’s an unbelievable driver and I think she’s got what it takes to win. It would be pretty cool if we can help her achieve it.”

Packard, who finished fourth in the 2015 ACT Late Model Tour Standings, has scheduled a minimum of nine races for the 2016 season. Her season is scheduled to start at the second ACT Late Model Tour event of the season at Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday, April 17.

“If we get into this deal and it’s going really well, we may add a race,” Packard said. “But, if something happens at the track, we have the option to not run a race should we need to skip one.

“The Polewarczyk’s are great guys. They have been really positive and seem to have a lot of confidence in me. That gives e a lot of hope going into this partnership with them. Joey is a great racer. Since I have been racing ACT, I have admired him as a racer and to get to work with him is truly an honor.

“I am looking forward to getting the season kicked off in the right direction.”

The 2016 ACT Late Model Tour season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, April 10 at Lee USA Speedway for the traditional New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150.

(VMM file photo)