With a championship on the line elsewhere, Joey Polewarczyk was entirely absent from the Pro All Stars Series roster in 2020. Perhaps the rest of the field preferred it that way.
The reigning Granite State Pro Stock Series champion drove to victory in Sunday’s PASS North feature at White Mountain Motorsports Park, picking up his sixth career PASS win and his first since 2018.
Polewarczyk prevailed in a blistering 45-minute sprint delayed slightly by rain earlier in the day, racing past early leaders and title contenders Ben Rowe and Johnny Clark to take the checkered flag.
Best known for his success in American-Canadian Tour competition, Polewarczyk stepped away from ACT full-time in 2016 to take on the new challenge of Super Late Model racing. “Joey Pole” earned his first career PASS win at WMMP that summer, adding two more wins and establishing himself as a credible Super Late Model threat.
But in 2020, Polewarczyk found himself enamored with the novelty of the GSPSS schedule. What ultimately became his first championship battle since 2015 left the Hudson, N.H. racer and his team with little time to fit in the odd ACT or PASS start.
Not that Polewarczyk had forgotten about the series by any stretch. Polewarczyk headed south for April’s Easter Bunny 150 doubleheader, finishing fifth and second in his first PASS races since the 2019 season finale. Polewarczyk returned home to claim victory in the GSPSS season opener at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, with spot starts in GSPSS and ACT Tour competition since then.
Polewarczyk’s winning performance was his first PASS triumph since May of 2018, when he scored an emotional victory at Thunder Road International Speedbowl. Of his six PASS wins, four have come at quarter-mile bullrings.
Joey Doiron followed up last week’s win at Lee USA Speedway with a strong second-place outing in his new black #20 entry. Doiron, also a former GSPSS champion and multi-time PASS winner, drove a Wright Pearson-owned car to victory in PASS’ visit to WMMP last September.
Reigning PASS champion DJ Shaw, who finished second three times at WMMP last year, was third at the line. Championship contenders Ben Rowe and Johnny Clark rounded out the top five.
Dan Winter improved on his tenth-place run at Thompson Speedway with a solid sixth-place finish. Winter, one of six drivers to enter all five PASS races this season, is often part of Polewarczyk’s crew at the track on his own off-weeks.
Ryan Robbins was seventh, a season best for the former PASS Modifieds champion. Kate Re, third at Lee last week, finished eighth in another strong run. Rookie Justin Larsen was ninth. American-Canadian Tour veteran JR Robinson, who exited last week’s race early, rebounded with a tenth-place finish.
Anthony Constantino’s afternoon ended in heartbreak when the young racer blew an engine moments after earning a heat victory. Constantino, another of the series’ full-timers thus far, was unable to take the green flag.
Polewarczyk is the fifth different winner in five events to open the PASS season, with six-time champion Johnny Clark the only of the title contenders to taste victory so far. The parity is a stark difference from 2020, when Nick Sweet had three wins in the first four races of the season. Sweet, thrice a winner at WMMP last year, was not in the field, as the Vermonter has reduced his schedule.
Polewarczyk is also among a handful of drivers to run in all three major New England Late Model touring series this season, and the only one of them to win in multiple series so far.
Where Polewarczyk goes next remains to be seen. Plenty of opportunities loom in the not-too-distant future. ACT returns to WMMP for the Spring Green in two weeks. ACT and PASS have a doubleheader planned in June at Hudson Speedway, Polewarczyk’s home track. GSPSS’ visit to Hudson is later in the summer, but the series has a June date at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, a track where Polewarczyk has won in ACT and PASS competition.
Wherever Polewarczyk goes next, victory lane will surely be within reach.
Unofficial Results, PASS 150 at White Mountain Motorsports Park:
1. (97) Joey Polewarczyk
2. (20X) Joey Doiron
3. (60) DJ Shaw
4. (4) Ben Rowe
5. (54) Johnny Clark
6. (81) Dan Winter
7. (36) Ryan Robbins
8. (10) Kate Re
9. (18) Justin Larsen
10. (20) JR Robinson
11. (02) Brian Whalley
12. (93) Ryan Green
13. (90) Craig Weinstein
14. (14) Scott McDaniel
15. (29T) Austin Teras
16. (21C) Shane Clark
17. (09) Jeremy Davis
18. (17MA) Eddie MacDonald
19. (47) Gabe Brown
20. (07) Mark Patten
21. (1VT) Evan Hallstrom
DNS (14ME) Anthony Constantino