Polenz loves Old Dominion and its fans
By Ed Turner For the News & Messenger
Published: September 25, 2008
Legends driver David Polenz is having one of those bonus seasons at Old Dominion Speedway.
The 17-year-old Milford, N.J., high school senior is currently ninth in the nation in Legends’ pro division, has clinched the New Jersey state championship pro division, and has all but won the Old Dominion Speedway championship.
“I’ve had a great year,” Polenz said. “We were hoping to do this and I was pretty much determined to do so. Some of it was luck and some of it was skill that I’ve picked up since last year.”
At ODS, Polenz has collected seven wins and 17 top threes.
His worse finishes were two fourth places.
In one of those fourths, Polenz got together with another car and had to restart at the back and battle back to the front.
In the other, he was blocked behind another driver who had an ill-handling racecar.
Polenz has also not had an easy time traveling from New Jersey to Virginia nearly every weekend for the past six months. And battling for a top 10 in the nationals has been a challenge with rainouts and low car counts that cost him points.
There’s also been the pressure to win points.
In the first half of the season at ODS, Polenz was in a head-to-head battle with Legend’s ace Roger Austin Jr. Once Polenz got the lead by a few points, he still had a rugged fight to maintain it against Austin and other frontrunners at ODS.
“There’s always an amount of pressure on you, no matter what position you’re in because there’s that pressure to keep the lead,” Polenz said. “And when you get a big points’ lead, you don’t look at it as: ‘Now I can ride along.’ You look at it as now I’ve got to keep that margin or make it bigger.”
Polenz’s biggest victory came in the Legends’ regional at ODS. He got around one car in the first lap and led the next 50.
“It was an awesome race to lead every lap against the best of the best,” he said.
Polenz was particularly pleased with his seven wins at ODS this season.
Last year, he didn’t get any wins at Old Dominion, but he finished second in points, with six top fives.
“It feels unbelievable getting those wins,” Polenz said.
“I’m just thankful that I have the cars I do and the family I do and the people around me to help me out. They put together the car, and it’s definitely a good race car.”
Polenz grew up a race fan, going to Dover and Richmond Cup races when he was only three. He started racing in go-karts when he was six and won around 20 races.
Then he moved up to quarter midgets for three years and won 28 races and a couple of championships.
“I watched Cup races on television all the time,” he said. “And since then, all I’ve wanted to do is race.”
Polenz and his dad, Jeff, are trying to put together a Late Model deal for next season, with the hopes of running at least some races at ODS.
“I love Old Dominion — the fans, the drivers and the track officials,” Polenz said. “They’re all great people, especially Steve Britt who runs the track perfect."