As far as Joey Polewarczyk Jr. is concerned, his season starts now.
Less than two weeks after failing to qualify for an ACT Late Model Tour race at Oxford Plains Speedway, Polewarczyk's No. 97 Pole's Automotive/NH Precision Ford will be back on track -- this time with a renewed effort and a reinvigorated engine -- this Friday night at Lee USA Speedway. He'll compete in the track's 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model feature.
"I can't wait to go to Lee," he said. "It's sort of like my home track. It's where I watched my father race for a lot of years, and it's a place where I've always seemed to run well. To go there and get back at it will be really big for us."
Following his DNQ at Oxford, Polewarczyk had his new Ford crate engine pulled and shipped to Butler-MacMaster Automotive in Hallowell, Maine. Butler-MacMaster supplies all ACT teams with their engines, and the engine remained at their shop for more than a week.
Polewarczyk switched to Ford during the offseason, after the manufacturer debuted its crate engine program in 2009 with Thunder Road International Speedbowl driver Cris Michaud.
"They found some issues with (the engine)," said Polewarczyk, who reported that the engine spent the better part of an entire day running through tests on the dyno. "They are going to rectify those issues."
During the race at Oxford, where Polewarczyk has won twice in his career, he said that he noticed his car was not picking up speed off the corners. That led him to believe that there was something wrong that went beyond track position or handling issues with his car.
This week at Lee, Polewarczyk said he's ready to prove a point -- both to himself and to others.
"I know we have a really good team," he said. "Yeah, I started to doubt myself (after Oxford), but I know what we're capable of. You never want to miss a race, but the fact that we did -- I think -- got us to take a step back and look at things overall.
"I think we're going to be better for it. I really do."
If all goes well at Lee USA, Polewarczyk said the team plans to make the trip to either White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., or to Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl on Saturday night.
The ACT Late Model Tour continues with the rescheduled NH Governor's Cup 150 at Lee USA on Friday night, June 11. Polewarczyk, 10th in the current ACT standings after two races, finished second in that event in 2009.