Polenz Family Sweep at Old Dominion Speedway

Date: 5/25/2012 9:37:41 PM


Polenz Family Sweep at Old Dominion Speedway

History was made Saturday night at Old Dominion Speedway (ODS) in Manassas Virginia, when David, Ryan and Jessie Polenz (all of Hunterdon County) each won races in their respective division. This is a feat that most likely has never been done anywhere before, three members of the same family each winning a race at the same track on the same night.

The Polenz family has been involved in racing for many years dating back to the mid 1970’s when Rich Polenz competed at the storied Flemington Speedway. These days the Polenz racing family consists of brother and sister David and Jessie Polenz the children of Jeff Polenz and their cousin Ryan Polenz, the son of the late Rich Polenz. The family travels south every weekend to race at Old Dominion Speedway (ODS).

David Polenz, a 2009 North Hunterdon graduate and 2011 NASCAR Late Model Champion, has won seventy nine races and six championships since age six. Since starting at ODS in 2008 he has won thirty one races, two Rookie of the Year honors and two championships (Legends Car and Late Model). Earlier this year David was invited to and competed in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International  Raceway and now he will be racing at ODS and several other tracks in Southern VA for the remainder of the 2012 season.

Jessie Polenz, a North Hunterdon senior, has been racing off and on for the past nine years. She has competed in Quarter Midgets, Bandoleros and now UCAR’s. She has won several races over the years and has committed herself to the UCAR Division since 2010. This past Saturday night she scored her first career UCAR win which started the history making night.

Ryan Polenz, a Hunterdon Central senior, started racing at age seven then took off for a few years and at age twelve had started to race on a full time basis and he has won several races since. He has been Rookie of the Year and has been in several points battles but has not quite been able to secure his first championship, he has missed by a mere two points one year and just four points another year. He finished third in the ODS Legends Car points last year and currently leads the Legends Car points in 2012.

Saturday night (5/19/12) seemed just like any other night at the track to all three of the Polenz Motorsports drivers. Then, in the UCAR race Jessie was able to get into the lead by lap two and proceeded to lead the remainder of the twenty lap feature event taking the checkered flag just one car length ahead of the division point leader. Immediately following her race the track announcer started talking about the Polenz’s pulling off the trifecta. He talked to both David and Ryan in victory lane telling them the pressure was on them since Jessie started off with her victory.

The Legends Division was the next race; Ryan jumped in his car and lined up in the fifth spot for the start of the race. It took just four laps for Ryan to take the lead and for the rest of the race Ryan and the second place car dueled it out bumper to bumper and side by side putting on an awesome show for the fans. The two of them pulled away from the rest of the field and at the finish line it was Ryan taking the checkered by one hundredth of a second over the second place car and by a half lap over third. Once again the announcer was talking about the trifecta.  While pulling David to the side to talk to him about it, David said jokingly, “No pressure here at all.”

David’s race was the main event of the night, a 100 lap feature in which he was starting on the outside pole in the second position. On the start of the race David was able to jump out to the lead and as the rest of the field battled for position he was able to stretch his lead lap after lap. By the halfway point he had a full straightaway lead over the second place car. David continued to pull away over the next thirty five laps and by lap eighty five he had more than a half lap lead when the caution came out erasing his lead. On the restart with ten laps to go David was able to maintain the lead and by the end of the race he had a fifteen car length lead as he crossed the finish line completing the Polenz Motorsports sweep for the evening.

Family is such a big part of the racing history at the Old Dominion Speedway, 1st, 2nd and even 3rd generations of drivers have competed at the legendary 3/8 mile oval together over the years, with many of them visiting victory lane at some point in their career. Few have pulled the "double" and visited victory lane on the same night. The Polenz Team has done the double on several nights but could only dream of the triple. That is what made Saturday night such a historic night at ODS, having all three drivers visiting victory lane in the same night. Who knows if this will ever be accomplished again by one family or even one team, but at this point the Polenz Motorsports Team is going down in the history books at Old Dominion Speedway.

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