Contributed by: ACT Staff
(PHOTO: Robbie Thompson (9) leads a field of Late Models down the Kawartha Speedway front stretch)
“Everybody up here is ecstatic that ACT will be returning to Ontario after more than ten years,” stated Robbie Thompson of South Hampton, ONT. He continued, “Kawartha is a great track with superb amenities. I ran my Late Model there twice last season and it turned out to be a good track for us. With a win and a second, I hope I’ll be considered as one of the favorites when ACT hits town,” he grinned.
Hudson, New Hampshire’s Joe Polewarczyk, crew chief and father of ACT’s 17 year-old racing sensation and Thunder Road track record holder, Joey “Pole” Polewarczyk Jr echoed Thompson’s thoughts, “We’re really excited to be going to Kawartha. We were one of the five or six teams who went up in 2005 to test the waters with the Ontario Late Model cars. In spite of the vast rules mix that day, Joey ran as high as seventh, which we were very pleased with.”
Describing the track the elder Polewarczyk commented, “The track’s smooth, fast, beautiful. The fans were incredible; they cheered for every driver, even the young kid from New Hampshire! And the casino, you’ll never go anywhere else like that – its right there, just across the front stretch.”
(PHOTO: The exterior pit at Kawartha Speedway area is paved, well lit and quite large. During long distance features, competitors use an infield pit road along the frontstretch).
Even though veteran ACT racer Brent Dragon had just returned from a lengthy hunting trip he’d already heard about the Kawartha race, “We’re really excited about going out there, that’s an awesome deal,” the 2007 New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl Champion stated. “I spoke to Jean (Paul Cyr) after he went out last year and he said it was beautiful, a wonderful track. What I’ve got to figure out though is whether I want to go out a day early or stay a day after the race so I can spend some time in the casino!"
Shelburne, Vermont’s Jamie Fisher, a veteran competitor and former Thunder Road Late Model track champion, has raced at ACT Tour events throughout Quebec but never in Ontario, “It looks like it will take a little while to get to Kawartha – I just might take a mini vacation for that race. It appears it will be a fairly easy drive since the route is mostly highways. I’m looking forward to heading out there, I like going to new tracks because of the challenge,” he finished.
(PHOTO: From the roof of the clubhouse, the first and second turns (right) as well as the third and fourth (below) of both the 3/8ths mile stock car track and the 5/8ths mile Euro-style harness track can be seen. Portable grandstands are placed on the horse track for the car races which is also a perfect place for a fan mid-way and sponsor display area).
“Big” Roger Brown, whose son Roger II finished fourth in the 2006 ACT Tour point chase, agreed about the length of the trip, “For our team it’s a 9½ hour drive from northern NH, but it’s certainly worth the trip. We went out last year and had the most incredible experience. The facility is awesome, we loved it, I can’t say enough about it. In fact, we tried to work it in our schedule to go back this past season but their big races seemed to always fall the week before our big events.” Brown concluded, “Roger had no trouble adapting to the track and its progressive banking. It’s a trip a driver doesn’t want to miss.“
Neither Hyde Park, Vermont’s Eric Williams, who was victorious in the 2006 Bond Auto Labor Day Classic nor Patrick Laperle of St Denis Quebec, the ’05 Milk Bowl champion, have much first hand knowledge about the Kawartha speedplant. The pair of ACTion Super Series race winners both like the fact that no one has a lot of experience there, “It will make an even playing field,” stated Williams, “Plus the uniqueness of the event will draw drivers from out there. It’s fun to match wits with new people.”
Laperle, who plans to do some `off-season’ racing commented, “I’ve never seen the place but hear it has two to three grooves. I’ve raced a new style, progressively banked track before, Vallee-Jonction (Quebec) is like that. Plus I talked to Junior Hanley a little about Kawartha, his son races there. I’m looking forward to going there.”
Thompson, who ran to a top ten finish in the ACTion Super Series race at Quebec’s Sanair Super Speedway, offered his predictions, “Cyr will be strong at Kawartha – he’s a force no matter where he races, plus he’s been to the track before. Also, anyone who runs well at Airborne (Speedway, Plattsburgh, NY, a semi-banked half-mile), should have a bit of a leg up, as well as ACT’s regular cast of top drivers. Ontario’s top Late Model drivers can’t be counted out either. I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few took a shot at it, especially with the home field advantage. Jeff Hanley (the track’s 2006 Late Model Champion) will be strong, he’s a tough racer. Many ACT fans will remember his father (Junior) who won the ACT title a couple of times (1991-1993),” he finished.
For more information visit www.kawarthaspeedway.com