One of the most decorated ACT Late Model Tour racers of the past 15 years will be back behind the wheel at select events this season. Hudson, NH’s Joey Polewarczyk is planning a limited ACT return in 2019 beginning with this Sunday’s Oxford 150 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway.
“Joey Pole” was the 2014 ACT Champion and is coming off one of the biggest wins of his career in the ACT Commonwealth Classic 65 at Virginia’s Richmond Raceway. However, the Oxford 150 will be his first point-counting event with ACT in nearly two years. The last time he was on-track for a regular-season event was May 17, 2017 at Devils Bowl Speedway.
For much of the last few seasons, Polewarczyk has primarily been seen in the ACT pits as a crew chief, with his team preparing cars for drivers such as Ryan Olsen and Mike Ziter. He first returned to an ACT-type Late Model cockpit for last September’s Napa Blue & Gold 250 open event at N. Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park. This year, he is trading his headset back in for a driving helmet at a handful of ACT Late Model Tour stops.
“We’ll be at Oxford this weekend, and then we’ll see where things go from there,” Polewarczyk said. “The shows that we know for sure we’re going to are Oxford, definitely Star, maybe the Chaudiere event, and obviously Thunder Road for the Milk Bowl at the end of the year. We don’t really have anything set in stone schedule-wise, because we’re going to run both cars (ACT and PASS). We’re just going to pick the races we want to do, and whatever races we feel like we’re more prepared for, we’ll go for those ones and see what happens.”
Although Polewarczyk does not currently plan on chasing the ACT championship, he is enthusiastic about returning to the cars where he’s had his greatest racing success. His win at Richmond was the 24th ACT-sanctioned Late Model victory of his career, which trails only Brian Hoar and Patrick Laperle. Nineteen of Pole’s ACT wins have come in point-counting events, which ties him for second with Laperle and Jean-Paul Cyr. Other noteworthy wins include the 2010 ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the 2010 Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road, and the 2013 International 500 at New York’s Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway.
“I feel like the Tour is going in an awesome direction,” Pole said. “It’s just cool to be a part of. It was cool to be a part of Richmond, and our Super Late Model still has some catching up to do work-wise to be ready, but we’re ready to go for Oxford. Hopefully we can continue the good string of finishes we’ve had there with ACT. I haven’t run a Tour race there since 2015, so I’m excited to get back.”
As Polewarczyk noted, Sunday’s Oxford 150 will be his first ACT event at Oxford in nearly three years. However, it will be like returning home when one considers his accomplishments there. Pole swept both ACT events in 2015, giving him four Tour wins at the track. He also won the Oxford 250 in 2012 when the event was for ACT-type Late Models. He is no slouch at Oxford in a Super Late Model either with a win in 2016 and a runner-up in last year’s Oxford 250.
“We’re carrying some momentum (from Richmond), and that definitely does not hurt,” Pole remarked. “It keeps everyone pumped up. Like I said, it’s been a while since we’ve run the American-Canadian Tour car there, but I’m looking forward to it. We had a lot of success in the Late Model-style cars at Oxford, especially when the Oxford 250 was Late Model-style, so I’m excited to get back.”
The ACT Late Model Tour visits Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway this Sunday, April 28 at 1:30pm to open the 2019 season. The Oxford 150 will feature some of the biggest stars of ACT racing, including former champions Polewarczyk, Scott Payea, and Wayne Helliwell Jr. The day’s action also includes the Honey Badger Bar & Grill 150 for the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models along with events for the PASS Modifieds, Honey Badger Street Stock Series, and North East Mini Stock Tour. Admission is $25 for adults, $12 for kids ages 6-12, and $60 for a family of four (two adults, two kids). An optional ACT practice day is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 beginning at 10:00am.