Krzeminski moving up Mini Stock ladderwaterford
WATERFORD — Andrew Krzeminski of Haddam has one word to describe his first Mini Stock race three years ago — disaster.
“We spun out so many times that the Scott Tapley, the race director told us to get off the track,” Krzeminski said. “We didn’t know what we were doing out there.”
Turn the clock ahead to Saturday. July 21, a night when Krzeminski showed what three years of hard work, dedication and improvement can do.
“He stomped across the finish line in third place, behind front-runners Charles Canfield and Doug Curry, to pull down his first podium of his career.
“I just watched the video again,” Krzeminski said. :”I came across the stripe and I was pounding my fist on the roof like we had won. In my mind, this was like a win. We’ve put so much work into this car — we scale it four or five times a week. That hard work finally is paying off.”
It’s been a long road, however, to get from Point A to Point B. Krzeminski’s first exposure to racing was when he worked with Sean Caron, who has been a long-time competitor in the Mini Stocks.
“I was on his crew, and I kept bugging me about letting me drive the car,” Krzeminski. “Eventually he succumbed and let me drive it. And I was terrible. But I loved it.
“Within two weeks I bought an old No. 39 car from Charles Andrade and I put a junkyard motor in it. We did terribly at the start. But I wanted to be on the track.”
During the off-season he totally tore the car apart, put on a new body, new suspension parts and a new motor and was ready to take on a new season.
“And we were still a disaster,” Krzeminski said. “It sure is a lot more difficult than it is from the stands. “It was a big learning curve.”:
And it was a learning curve against the wind. Eventually, Krzeminski started to get the wind to blow in his direction and show some improvement.
“”We got into the Top 10 a couple of times, but we didn’t have a ton of guidance,,” Krzeminski said. “At the end of my second full season, I got in touch with Joe Brockett and he started doing my carburetors. He started working with me and I showed some big improvement. Since he’s started to coach me, we’ve gotten better and better. He’s never given me bad advice.”
It all culminated with Saturday’s podium finish.
“We have a new body on the car, new paint, a new wrap, a freshened motor, and we came out swinging,” Krzeminski said.
Krzeminski has yet to finish out of the Top 10, grabbing a third place, 5 fifth-place finishes, a sixth and a ninth. He currently is fourth in the point standings.
“Advancement,” Krzeminski said. “That’s the key word. We’re finally catching on to what it takes to be competitive. We are far from being a front-runner, but we are definitely gaining on it.”
Krzeminski, however, now is looking to climb to the next level.
“We have made some changes,” Krzeminski said. “I can hold the bottom now a lot better than I did. to make people go around me. Last week Doug Curry was outside me and I held him off for a long time. If I can hold off a guy like Doug Curry for a few laps, then I definitely know I’m going well.
“I’m harder to pass. Now I’ve got to work on gaining positions during a race. That’s my next step.”
Krzeminski is looking for monetary support so he can take that step. His team includes his brothers, John, Ken and Keith and his girlfriend, Chelsea Pike.
“She is super involved; she’s my No. 1 supporter,” Krzeminski said. “She goes to school full-time and she supports me full-time.
Greg’s Outboard Service, Krzeminski’s sister Kim, Jeff’s Custom Graphics and Brockett round out his support group..
“They are the biggest reasons we are as fast as we are this year,” Krzeminski said.
And Krzeminski is trying to get faster.
“We work every night on the car,” Krzeminski said. “We’re never going to stop trying to improve.”
After all, once you’ve had a taste of the podium, you can’t wait to get another one.
Classic car night
Not only is it Nostalgia Night Saturday, it also is the second Classic Car Night of the year. Fans are invited to bring their classic cars or trucks from 1896 to 1978. Car owners will receive will receive a voucher entitling that person to one free grandstand ticket.
The Speedbowl has announced that a race honoring the late Bubby Brouwer will be taking place on Sept. 8. Brouwer served for years as the track maintenance man and was also a championship driver, notching 31 career wins.
The Bubby Brouwer SK Lite 49 presented by RaceChoice.com will be the biggest race for SK Lite drivers in the history of the Speedbowl. Lap sponsorships are available for $25. For more information, contact Mike Serluca at email@example.com, or text him at 860-942-6794.
Kyle James is the hottest driver in the SK Modified division with four wins in six races. Jonathan Puleo has the hot and in the SK Lite Modifieds with four wins in five races. Charles Canfield is on fire with four wins and one second in his last five races while Shawn Gaedeke has not been out of the Top 4 in the Sportsman, winning three times.
Guests divisions Saturday will be the New England Antique Racers and the Senior Tour Auto Racers. Also at the Bowl will be the NEMA Lites, who ill be involved in the Jim O’Brien 50-lap Memorial. The Ct Pro 4 Modifieds will be making their third trip to the Speedbowl this season. Brett Meservey had won both features, and P.J. Peter has won both features in the Pro 4 Lite division.
Press release from New London-Waterford Speedbowl
Contact Mike Serluca at MikeS@speedbowlct.com