Unbuckled: Getting to Know Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.
Driver of the #97NH Pole’s Automotive Ford Fusion
Hometown: Hudson, NH
2015 Season: Finished 2nd in ACT Late Model Tour points (5 wins)
What are your favorite off-season hobbies?
My favorite offseason hobbies would be spending time with friends and family and basically rebuilding our cars and trying to make them better for next year.
What do you do for work?
I work at our family business which is an automotive repair shop. I get to fix passenger cars all day long.
What is your biggest life accomplishment?
My biggest life accomplishment so far would be winning the Oxford 250. The ACT Championship, Milk Bowl, and Invitational are all accomplishments I'm very proud of, but the 250 stands out the most to me.
What are your racing plans for 2016?
2016 is going to be a different year for me. For the past ten years I've run for points on the ACT Tour but this year I'm trying to start a development program. I will also be driving in the ACT races we select along with some Super Late Model events. We kind of want to do what Brian Hoar did a few years ago.
What race(s) are you most looking forward to in 2016?
There's a lot of races I'm looking forward to. I'm definitely looking forward to ACT's return to Seekonk and Waterford. Seekonk was where I earned my first ACT victory and it's always been one of my favorite tracks. I can't wait for all the races!
What was the highlight of the 2015 season for you?
The highlight for me was winning the Can-Am at Ste. Croix (Circuit Riverside Speedway) for the second straight year. We had some trouble at the beginning of the race and used some strategy to get ourselves back into contention. I used to struggle there when I first started so it feels so good to get some wins there.
How did you get started in racing?
I got started in racing when I was 7 years old. My dad (Joe Sr.) raced before I was born so I was always around it. I always wanted to help with the race cars and just always wanted to be a part of it. 20 years later I'm still doing it. (Laughs)
Do you have anyone that you consider a hero or try to emulate?
I used to really look up to Jeff Gordon when I was younger. When watching NASCAR, he was the guy I pulled for.
Who is your biggest supporter at the track?
My biggest supporters would be my family and team. They take time out of their life to make everything happen at the race track. Racing takes up a lot of time and I really can't thank everybody on my team enough for the hard work they put in.
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your racing career?
I would say my dad has influenced me the most. He got me started and taught me so much. We’ve spent a lot of time together and really work well together. I do try to stay a little cooler on the track then he did. (Laughs) Though sometimes he has to calm me down!
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
I'm an avid ping pong player. I try to play ping pong as much as I can. I’m always looking for new challengers. (Laughs)
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Stay calm and be patient. It took me years to figure that out, but once you apply it, it really works.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to still be driving and also working on race cars all the time. That's the short version of my five year plan. (Laughs)
What would you do if you won the lottery?
I don't think I'd change much. I'd buy a modest house and be able to race any time I wanted to. (Laughs) I was hoping I was going to win that $1.5 billion in Powerball!