KANSAS CITY, Kansas (October 15, 2015) – – Matt Kurzejewski is used to everyday pressure.
The challenges of running a successful business in Mansfield, Pennsylvania has matured the likable driver years beyond his age.
However, when he fires the engine of his No. 54 Costy’s Energy Services Chevrolet in Friday’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season finale, he’ll embrace a whole new meaning to the word pressure.
Not only is the part-time driver looking to bookmark his career-best season with a celebration in Victory Lane, Kurzejewski is fighting for a championship.
No, it’s not the coveted driver’s championship, but the Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge championship, a title within a title across the 20-race stretch on the tour.
“I can’t believe the year is about over with,” said Kurzejewski who earned a career-best finish of third at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in August. “Our performance was not up to our standards at Kentucky Speedway last month and we’ve worked tirelessly the last two weeks to make sure we’ve saved the best for last.”
The Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge championship awards the winning team that has scored the most points across a stretch of superspeedway races, which rocketed off in February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Kurzejewski with the guidance of three-time ARCA winner Brian Keselowski aim to close out their nine-race journey with their eighth top-10 of the season.
As far as the superspeedways are concerned, their record has been impeccable. In seven superspeedway races, the No. 54 team has posted three top-fives and seven top-10s which gives them a 35-point margin over GMS Racing with the title down to the wire.
For Kurzejewski, he knows a race win in Friday night’s The Full Throttle S’loonshine 98.9 will put an exclamation point on what has been a productive and memorable ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season.
“Man, we’ve been trying to win all season,” admitted Kurzejewski. “I don’t think you can be a race car driver without the thought of winning a race. For us, we’ve been close, but for one reason or another, we just haven’t been able to seal the deal. Friday night is our last opportunity and we’re hoping that partaking in the recent test at Kansas will help us accomplish that feat.”
After a humdrum performance in the most recent race at Kentucky Speedway, the No. 54 team headed west to Kansas Speedway for a crucial one-day test.
And while productivity was cut short after the team was forced to change engines, Kurzejewski feels in the end, it may have all been a blessing in disguise.
“Unfortunately, the engine swap and mechanical issues consumed a majority of our day leaving us little time to complete testing in Kansas on Wednesday afternoon,” added Kurzejewski. “We are still a bit behind the eight ball compared to where we would like to be but after all it is a step in the right direction and hopefully things have turned around.”
Even with minimal track time on Kansas’s surface, the 24-year-old is yearning on the 99-lap hoorah ahead with a special paint scheme supporting National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
“I am very excited to head back to Kansas and race,” Kurzejewski said. “The track definitely seems to be a fun and fast track to drive. Our car for this event will be based around a pink paint scheme for Breast Cancer Awareness. We’re going to win. In more ways than one.”
Kurzejewski, 24 has 13 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards starts to his credit. During his four-year engagement in the series, he has posted three top-fives and ninth top-10 finishes, including a career-best third at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in August. He has completed 1,197 laps on the tour and led 117 of them.
Follow Matt Kurzejewski on Twitter @kurzejewski.
The Full Throttle S’loonshine 98.9 (99 Laps / 149 Miles) is the 20th of 20 races on the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins for the one-day show on Friday, October 16 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for later in the day at 2:30 p.m. The event will take the green flag later that night around 7:30 p.m. The season finale will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 with including live timing and scoring available online at ARCARacing.com. All times are local (Central).