Photo by Dale Calnan/Image Factor Media
By Carin Sundin
OHSWEKEN, Ont. (May 30, 2019) – Ohsweken Speedway is excited to bring back its popular web series “In the Driver’s Seat” for a second season. Each week the segment showcases a driver from the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock or HRW Automotive Mini Stock divisions to share some insight on the driver in the firesuit and behind the wheel. This week, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock rookie driver Adam Plazek is behind the wheel and “In The Driver’s Seat” .
Plazek would like to acknowledge and thank his sponsor Plazek Auto Recyclers for their support. Special thanks to his crew chief, coach and biggest supporter and dad, Frank Plazek for all of his help and advice.
How old were you when you started racing? What division/class? How long have you been in this current division?
AP “I was 18 when I started racing in the old Bomber division at Ohsweken Speedway. I am 20 now and this will be my first year in the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock division.”
How did you get involved in racing?
AP “My family has a long history in dirt racing. My father Frank Plazek ran a Big-block Modified at Merrittville Speedway for many years. He was also the crew chief for my uncle Joe Plazek, who was a strong competitor in the Super DIRTCar series for many years.
My family was out of racing for years until my uncle Jamie Turner started racing Sprint Cars at Ohsweken Speedway and my cousins Cory and Ryan Turner started racing in the Thunder Stock division. I went to the track every weekend throughout high school to watch them race. Once I graduated high school, myself and my good friend Dylan each contributed half each and paid for a car. I began to race in the Bomber division at Ohsweken. I used my time with the car to run weekly in the Bombers and he used it to run in the Enduro races at Merrittville Speedway. My dad didn’t want to get involved in racing again, so I built most of the car in Dylan’s grandparents’ shop. Once my dad realized I was going through with the car, he did the welding of the cage so he knew it was good and I would be safe. Once my Dad got to the track with me and we started working on the car weekly he was hooked again. So, when the Bomber division was cancelled for good, we went to the new V6 division at Merrittville. We had an awesome season winning 9 of 13 races and never finishing outside of the top three. Thunder Stock is the next step in our racing, and we are excited for the challenge it presents.”
What was your scariest situation in a racecar?
AP “It actually came in the Bomber division even though the old bomber track was much smaller and slower than the larger tracks I have raced on. I had won the week before, so I started the race in the rear of the field on the outside. On the first lap the outside pole sitter went off the end going into turn 3, and the last thing I expected was for them to pull back onto the track in front of me. When they pulled onto the track I had nowhere to go with a car to the inside of me and a light pole to the outside of the car I was trying to miss. I ended up hitting the other car at full speed in the rear quarter. I hit so hard my knee broke the ignition that was on the steering column, I bent the spindles on both sides, and I cut a wire somewhere in the car which cut out my engine. That was by far the hardest impact I have had so far.”
Do you get “race nerves” before a race?
AP “Yes, for sure. Once I get to the track I never eat until after the race because I get nerves and don’t feel hungry. No matter how comfortable and confident I feel in the car, I have always had the same nerves.”
What is your favourite race moment to date (as a driver, fan, growing up, etc.)?
AP “My first feature win in the V6 division was one that really sticks with me. It was a new car and all throughout practice we struggled with the engine only running on four cylinders and the transmission acting funny. We were about a second off the pace of the fastest car at practice and we didn’t know how the first race would go. We got both issues figured out in time for the first race of the season, and in the heat, we found we were on pace with the fastest cars. We ran second most of the race, right on the tail of the leader. He pushed up and I was able to turn underneath him and make the pass and hold on for the win in the first race of the year. After all the work me and my dad put into the car in the off season it felt so good to get that win.”
If you could race in any other class, which would it be?
AP “It would have to be Big-block Modified. I have a deep attachment to the Northeast modifieds with my family’s history with the division and I would love the chance to wheel the most powerful of all the modified divisions.”
What advice would you give anyone who is interested in getting into racing?
AP “Take it slow and work on your skills as a driver early. You’re not going to be winning races over night, especially if you chose a real competitive division. Make one change to the car at a time and feel the car to see what it does. If you make multiple changes at once you will never know what change does what exactly. And even if you have a poor car on a given night, don’t get frustrated. You can improve a lot as a driver by wheeling a car that is struggling to handle.”
What driver do you most admire? Do they influence your driving style?
AP “There are two drivers I must mention. My favourite NASCAR driver has always been Dale Earnhardt Jr. I have always admired his respect for other drivers and his dedication to the sport. And I have to mention Matt Sheppard. I absolutely admire his driving style. He is so patient, always saves his car for the end and he takes full advantage of every mistake drivers make in front of him and rarely makes errors that cost him position. He is always moving forward through the field but never uses contact to force a pass.”
If you could compete in any race, what would it be? Which track?
AP “It would have to be the Super DIRTcar Series finale during Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway. My family has always idolized that event and have put a lot of effort into trying to win and always came up just short. It has always been a dream of mine to bring home a Super DIRT Week win.”
Do you have any race day or pre-race superstitions or rituals?
AP “I was very superstitious when I played hockey, but I haven’t really developed any superstitions yet in racing. When I get to the track, I usually just chill out at the trailer until its time for hot laps. Then if we aren’t working on the car between races, I do the same. I don’t often go to watch other divisions, instead I sit and think about what I want to accomplish out on the track.”
Who picked your number and why?
AP “My number is a combination of my dads race and hockey number (No.4) and my favourite number and my number I always wore for hockey (No.1). That makes me No.41. I did this as I felt it was important to pay some tribute to my dad with my number as he is my car owner and has done so much for my racing. Without him I wouldn’t be able to do it. And I of course wanted to have my number on the car but didn’t want to have the exact same number that my Uncle Joe ran on his modified (No.1), so hence No.41.”
What other activities do you enjoy besides race car driving?
AP “I used to play baseball and hockey, but both of that sort of got taken over by racing. I am in school in Kingston full-time in the winter, so it is hard to find time for hockey. In the summer there is no time between work and racing to play baseball.”
We wish Adam Plazek and the No. 41 Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock team a safe and successful rookie season in 2019. Thank you, Adam, for getting “In The Driver’s Seat” this week.
About MavTV Canada’s All North Racing Powered by Pinty’s
Ohsweken Speedway is excited to announce its Friday Night Excitement racing will be the centerpiece of a new international television broadcast on MavTV Canada called All North Racing powered by Pinty’s. All North Racing will visit Ohsweken for six live broadcasts that will be re-aired multiple times in Canada and the United States. The MavTV broadcasts are scheduled for May 31, June 21, July 22, July 23, August 30 and September 14. These broadcasts include both nights of the Northern Summer Nationals featuring Tony Stewart, Christopher Bell and Rico Abreu as well as the 15th annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. For more information on MavTV Canada, visit www.facebook.com/MAVTVCanada.
Northern Summer Nationals Tickets Available Now
Tony Stewart, Christopher Bell and Rico Abreu are coming to Ohsweken Speedway for two action-packed nights on July 22-23. All three Sprint Car stars will be in action both nights for two $5,000-to-win 360 Sprint Car shows. Tickets and camping for the Northern Summer Nationals are on sale online athttps://ohswekenspeedway.ticketforce.com/ or can be purchased by phone by calling (519) 717-0023.
Ohsweken Speedway Live Stream
Can’t make it to the track or don’t live within driving distance? No problem! Check out all of Ohsweken’s weekly Friday Night Excitement action live online for free via the Ohsweken Speedway Live Stream. The stream goes live at 7:30pm EST each race night at www.OhswekenSpeedway.ca and on our officialFacebook page.
Ohsweken Speedway’s 24th season of weekly Friday Night Excitement features four divisions of racing, including the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks and HRW Automotive Mini Stocks. Visit www.OhswekenSpeedway.com or call (519) 717-0023 for more information.
About Ohsweken Speedway: Founded in 1996, Ohsweken Speedway is a motorsports complex which includes a 3/8 (0.375) mile clay oval track. The facility is owned by the Styres family, and located in the village of Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. Ohsweken’s weekly Friday night racing program runs from May to September each year, featuring 360 Sprint Cars, Crate Sprint Cars, Thunder Stocks and Mini Stocks. The season finishes each year with the track’ annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. Ohsweken Speedway also hosts weekly Micro Sprint racing on Thursday nights.
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY MEDIA
Phone: (519) 717-0023
Ohsweken Speedway thanks the following partners for their support: Nitro 54 Variety, Ackland Insurance, Arrow Express, Auto Parts Centres, Bradshaw Brothers Fuels, Burger Barn, Case IH O’Neil’s Farm Equipment, Core-Mark International, Corr/Pak Merchandising Inc., Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, EPIC Racewear, Gale’s Auto Aftermarket, Hoosier Tire Canada, HRW Automotive, Insta-Insulation/Insta-Panels, Jibs Action Sports, Kool Kidz Ice & Water, McDonald’s Restaurants of Paris & Brantford, Middleport Mechanical, Club 54 Racing, Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Renway Energy, Rochester Knighthawks, Strickland’s GMC and Victory Gamez.