T.J.’s Takeaways: Don’t Discount the East Coast Sprint Car Drivers

Trey Jacobs. (Dan McFarland/SprintFun photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

Over the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of feedback from readers saying they miss the takeaways columns at the end of race nights. With my new job starting to settle down there is more time available to accomplish this. Tonight’s takeaways are in a slightly different format focusing on the races I viewed across the country tonight on DIRTVision.com and Floracing, but after a semi-normal night’s rest.

• Friday was another lesson in why good race car drivers from the New York, Ontario, and Quebec area cannot be discounted on their home turf when the track gets extraordinary slick. Paulie Colagiovanni surprised many with his second-place performance with the World of Outlaws on Friday finishing right on the back bumper of winner Aaron Reutzel. If you look at Colagiovanni’s career trajectory it seems fitting.

Colagiovanni has seven wins this year and is a former Empire Super Sprints champion at age 20. He hasn’t had time to settle into bad habits and by all accounts from people I converse with in that part of the country is immensely talented.

Put a talented driver in quality equipment on a standard, extremely slick New York racing surface and they will be a threat to take the Outlaws’ lunch money any day of the week. It is very similar to the situation that led to Stewart Friesen winning his first career World of Outlaws feature at Ohsweken Speedway.

Now we get to see what Colagiovanni can do to build upon his already impressive young career after his profile was raised Nationally by his performance on Friday.

• Throughout the season I’ve mentioned how compelling the All Star Circuit of Champions series has been throughout the 2021 season. That continued Friday at 34 Raceway at Burlington, Iowa with a compelling front row for the main event with Bill Balog and Kyle Reinhardt, Kerry Madsen quickly charging from 10th to the lead, then having to hold off Tyler Courtney on a rubber down racetrack for the victory.

When you have great racing when the track is taking rubber, that’s a sign that the series entertainment value is very good. After years of hard work the All Stars have turned into much watch sprint car racing every weekend.

• Another terrific point battle is developing between Cole Macedo and Trey Jacobs at Attica Raceway Park. Jacobs recently took the point lead from Macedo and threw down the gauntlet Friday winning his first feature of the season at Attica. Jacobs is moving in an upward trajectory improving his finishes each week while Macedo has recently battled a sophomore slump of sorts in Ohio with some crashes and mechanical issues (including losing brakes on Friday).

Macedo and his new Ray Brooks Racing team have persevered through Jacobs surge, making the point race for the championship at Attica and features even Friday highly entertaining. IF you are not at Attica or another track in person, tuning into the Friday program at Attica is appointment viewing and will likely end in time for you to see another feature somewhere else in the Eastern time zone.

• The Canadian Sprint Car scene has not seen much in the line of good news since COVID took grip of the world in the spring of 2020. Friday was one of the best days the sport has had in the North with two of their young up and coming stars, Jordan Poirier and Jacob Dykstra, winning the 360 and crate features respectively at Humberstone Speedway.

Poirier is quickly following in his uncle Steve’s footsteps getting faster every week. At just 23 years of age with good equipment the Poirier name should be a force on the sprint car scene for years to come.

Dykstra may not be a name as many people are familiar with Nationally. This 20 year old third generation driver had an outstanding night at his home track picking up a top five finish with the Knights of Thunder 360 sprint car season before stepping over to the Action Sprint Tour and winning that main event.

Another positive was former Super Dirt Series and Super Dirt Week Champion Mat Williamson making his first sprint car start in Glenn Styres car, moving up from 13th starting position to finish 10th.

It will be interesting to see if Williamson does more sprint car racing with his roots firmly in modified racing as part of the Bicknell family and their parts and race car business along with top notch 358 and big block modified rides in multiple series. Williamson is an extremely talented young driver, and if he decides to do more sprint car racing it will not be long until he is at the front of the pack.