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Polewarczyk Poaches Win In Mid-August ACT Spring Green

Joey Polewarczyk picked up his first ACT Tour win in four years in Saturday's rain-rescheduled Spring Green at Seekonk Speedway. (Photo courtesy ACT/Erik Tavares)

Only in a tumultuous, topsy-turvy 2023 season could the Spring Green follow the Midsummer Classic on a racing schedule.

But Joey Polewarczyk was content with the victory no matter when it came.

The 2014 American-Canadian Tour Late Model champion held off Derek Gluchacki on a late restart to win Saturday night’s 48th Spring Green 123 at Seekonk Speedway, taking his 21st ACT Tour checkered flag and his first Tour win in four years.

Seekonk became the sixth different track to host the Spring Green, one of Tour founder Tom Curley’s signature events that predates ACT itself. The Massachusetts bullring moved its traditional end-of-year date to accommodate the new honor. But June’s attempt at the storied race was washed out after practice, and with few free weekends on either schedule, the 48th edition of the Spring Green was shifted into mid-August.

Polewarczyk, one of the winningest drivers in ACT Late Model Tour history, conquered the “Cement Palace” in 2007, but only had one ACT start at the track since then. Nevertheless, “Joey Pole” placed his car on the pole after qualifying rounds. Outside polesitter Andrew Molleur overpowered Polewarczyk on lap two, taking the point for the early laps. But Polewarczyk was patient, getting past the rookie after a lap-19 restart to take command.

While Polewarczyk set the pace, Molleur came under fire from Gluchacki, who picked his way from the back of the top ten to battle for second. Cautions kept Gluchacki from challenging for the runner-up slot, but a lap-102 pause for Tom Carey III’s misfortune allowed the South Coast native to displace Molleur at last.

A yellow flag on lap 120 gave the leaders a three-lap shootout to settle the score, but Polewarczyk pulled away to a .631-second margin of victory over Gluchacki, earning him his first ACT Tour victory since a Star Speedway triumph in June 2019.

Tanner Woodard, another rookie in need of a solid run, nipped Molleur at the line to steal third, with Molleur recording his own best Tour effort. Gabe Brown, solidly in the title hunt, was fifth at the finish.

Erick Sands crossed the line sixth, ahead of defending champion and current points leader D.J. Shaw. Cam Huntress recorded his second top ten of the year with an eighth-place run. Reigning Seekonk Late Model and Pro Stock champ Mark Jenison was ninth, while Jacob “Rowdy” Burns was tenth at the stripe.

Joey Polewarczyk held off the field in a three-lap shootout to take his first win at the “Cement Palace” since 2007. (Photo courtesy ACT/Erik Tavares)

Canadian Jonathan Bouvrette, faced with a schedule conflict due to the rescheduled race, opted to compete back home in the Série ACT LMS. Ryan Kuhn ran Bouvrette’s car number for owner’s points, but could only finish 16th.

Solid nights for fifth-place Brown and runner-up Gluchacki allowed them to whittle away at Shaw’s points lead, with Brown 23 points back in second and Gluchacki 53 points behind in third. Shaw, ever consistent, has yet to meet with true misfortune in 2023, but one finish outside the top ten could be enough to bring Brown and Gluchacki back into the title chase. Only Gluchacki has multiple Tour wins in 2023, but mechanical trouble left him spotting the field several points in the first few races of the year.

Points racing, though, has not been a concern of Polewarczyk’s in several years. One of New England’s young veterans, Polewarczyk has favored a diverse schedule since 2015, racing and winning in Super Late Models while keeping a foot in the ACT Tour on a limited basis. Aside from a race-by-race 2020 schedule that turned into a Granite State Pro Stock Series championship, Polewarczyk had not run a full schedule in years.

An opportunity in a funded Pro All Stars Series ride gave Polewarczyk a new focus in 2022, though the results fell short of expectations. Polewarczyk fielded his own ACT car in the Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road International Speedbowl, but it was Pole’s sole ACT attempt of the year.

For 2023, Polewarczyk dusted off his own fleet, returning to his ACT roots. A lead-lap run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and a top-five finish at Lee USA Speedway were offset by a hard crash at Stafford and a scary wreck in the Midsummer Classic 250 at White Mountain Motorsports Park, where he skidded through the infield and slammed into a light pole.

But the potential was there. And racers like Polewarczyk find their groove eventually.

With a few big dates left on the ACT Tour calendar, Polewarczyk may have found his stride at just the right time.

Unofficial Results
American-Canadian Tour 48th Spring Green 123
Seekonk Speedway

1. (97NH) Joey Polewarczyk
2. (03MA) Derek Gluchacki
3. (68NH) Tanner Woodard
4. (31CT) Andrew Molleur
5. (60ME) Gabe Brown
6. (36NH) Erick Sands
7. (04VT) D.J. Shaw
8. (27NH) Cam Huntress
9. (22RI) Mark Jenison
10. (30RI) Jacob “Rowdy” Burns
11. (12CT) P.J. Evans
12. (17MA) Matt Lowinski-Loh
13. (77NH) Bryan Wall, Jr.
14. (27MA) Luke LeBrun
15. (00NH) Jimmy Renfrew, Jr.
16. (41QC) Ryan Kuhn
17. (5ME) Dominic Curit
18. (38RI) Connor Souza
19. (49CT) Brian Whalley
20. (5MA) Tom Carey III
21. (6MA) Nick Johnson
22. (77MA) James Linardy
23. (11RI) Ryan Vanasse
24. (08RI) Richard Murray
25. (17RI) Vinny Arrenegado, Jr.
26. (02MA) Mike Brightman
DNS (78CT) Walter Sutcliffe

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Jeff Brown is a contributor to Short Track Scene. A native of New Hampshire and a long-time fan of New England racing, Brown provides a fan's perspective as he follows New England's regional Late Model touring series.

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