After nailing down his sixth Utica-Rome Speedway track championship and bringing home the hardware from their recent champions banquet Durhamville’s Matt Janczuk, driver of the 33x Crate Sportsman, made it crystal clear what his focus was for 2019: win races.
I caught up with Janczuk at his race shop where he was working on his car. When the 33x is unloaded opening night at U-R, Sunday, April 14, a 2019 Bicknell chassis with a brand new powerplant from Enders Racing Engines will roll out of the trailer.
“Just about everything on the car is brand new,” quipped Janczuk.
Just then Janczuk’s young son, Brody, appeared to alert him that dinner was ready and was getting cold.
He migrated to the cellar/trophy room of his home and looked over a lot of the memorabilia and honors that Janczuk has already gotten since starting to race in 2002.
The 35-year-old driver has found victory lane quite a bit in his career. Janczuk leads U-R with 39 sportsman feature race wins — 10 more than the next driver on the list — Steve Way.
“I want to win races,”Janczuk emphasized. “I want to win races where ever I go this season.” Utica-Rome will continue to be his home track but he loves racing at Fulton and last season he even ventured to Brewerton for the first two times in his career.
Racers always want to win and if you’ve been as successful as Janczuk you expect to win.
Sounds simple enough but we all know it isn’t. The car counts of the hyper competitive 602 Crate Sportsman division are tremendous at all of the tracks and drivers like Janczuk that are used to winning have a much harder time because the quality of drivers in the division are stellar.
When feature races start getting handicapped it makes the job to get to the front much more difficult. Each race is spiced up with many nuisances that can quickly end your night.
That doesn’t phase Janczuk though. I sensed some steely determination.
This weekend Janczuk is being honored by the Wing Champ Racing Series at a banquet in Little Falls. The WCRS recognizes “outstanding drivers, inside the car and outside the car serving their communities. The 2018 WCRS Large Car Driver Of The Year is the six time Utica-Rome Speedway sportsman track champion Matt Janczuk. Matt serves his community with his occupation, a sergeant in the village of Hamilton police department and a charitable donation of his time. He is dedicated to promoting Safe, Healthy, Drug Free Kids.
He’s taken his equipment, talent and championship winning attitude to schools, encouraging kids and young adults to finish strong stay healthy, safe and drug free.”
Janczuk has a slew of sponsors coming back this season: DS Detailing, Stop DWI New York- Madison County, Safe Healthy Drug Free Kids Hamilton Coalition, Holy Smoke BBQ, Hamilton Car & Pet Wash, Wendt University Inn, Sherrill NY Pizzeria, Eddie B’s Maple Syrup & Honey Co., AJP Andy’s Tow Service, Town & Country Stove & Fireplace, Parry’s, A Will 2 Fish Guide Service, Finish Line Designs Embrodiery and Primal Tee Shop.
A fun night coming up will be Janczuk’s annual race fundraising party next Saturday, March 16 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Utica-Rome Speedway Club.
There were will be music, food, baskets and door prizes. The door prizes includes a 32-inch Phillips Roku TV. There will be a lot of Janczuk gear you can win too. Fun night.
On deck for this weekend is the 33rd annual Syracuse Motorsports Expo at the Syracuse Fairgrounds Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
See you at the races…soon. Very soon.